‘Completely trollied’ carer drove while almost five times limit – twice
- Credit: Archant
A woman caught drink-driving two days before appearing in court for a virtually identical offence has been spared jail.
Heidi Burridge was found “completely trollied” at the wheel of her VW Golf – with half a bottle of wine on the passenger seat – outside her Worlingworth home on Saturday afternoon.
Burridge had been followed home by another road user, who earlier spotted her slumped at the wheel in the middle of the road.
Burridge, 36, of Church Road, was on bail and due in court on Monday for an almost identical offence five months ago.
She appeared in custody before magistrates in Ipswich to admit driving with 167 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath on November 21 and with 159mcg in breath on June 20 – the legal limit being 35mcg.
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Prosecutor Wayne Ablett said Burridge had been pulled over near home at about 5pm on June 20 following reports about her manner of driving.
The dementia care home team leader was bailed to appear for a subsequently adjourned court hearing on September 1.
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At about 1.45pm on Saturday, Burridge was seen slumped at the wheel in the middle of Shop Street by a passing motorist, who returned to find she had resumed her journey home, swerving across the road and narrowly avoiding an oncoming vehicle.
Mr Ablett said the witness flagged down and warned another motorist, who turned out to be a friend of Burridge and discovered her, in their words, “completely trollied”, unable to keep her head up and carrying half a bottle of wine in the passenger seat.
Mr Ablett said Burridge insisted on taking two or three big gulps of wine before police arrived.
Lyndon Davies, mitigating, described Burridge as a woman of previously good character, who had turned to binge drinking to cope with anxiety arising from the deadly impact of Covid-19 on her care home residents and as a result of a relationship ending.
On the second occasion, Burridge told the probation service, she had simply been drinking and felt fit enough to drive to pick up shopping.
Mr Davies said Burridge could have received some intervention had September’s hearing not been adjourned due to the impact of coronavirus on court proceedings.
Burridge was handed 20-weeks’ custody, suspended for a year, with 10 days’ rehabilitation, and a three-year driving ban.