Guernsey Press

Drink-driver popped into pub for drink after being stopped

After being stopped by police on suspicion of drink-driving, a woman went into a pub and got another drink.

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Shelley Day, 44, of La Vassalerie, St Andrew’s, admitted the drink-drive offence when she appeared in the Magistrate’s Court.

Crown Advocate Fiona Russell told the court how officers had been following the defendant at Le Bourg, Forest, at about 9.30pm. Her car was being driven slowly and swerving from left to right. It swerved and narrowly missed a road sign before the defendant turned in to the car park of the Happy Landings. She was in the driver’s seat when officers spoke to her. They could smell perfume in the car but no alcohol.

Day asked officers if she could go in to the bar and collect her partner. When she returned she was sipping from what appeared to be a vodka and coke mix. She confirmed that it was. She was unable to stand without leaning on somebody.

Officers said that as she had just consumed alcohol they would have to wait 20 minutes before a breath sample could be taken.

When she failed this she was arrested. An evidential test at the Police Station identified 122mcg of alcohol per 100ml of her breath when the legal limit is 35.

Defending, Advocate Samuel Steel said by his client’s own admission, she had done a terrible thing. She had been drinking at home before her partner asked her to meet him at The Happy Landings.

She thought her tolerance to alcohol due to her alcohol dependency would have enabled her to drive safely.

She had a double vodka in the pub to calm her nerves and had only drunk half of it. She had finally accepted that she had an alcohol problem for which she was now seeking help and had lost her job as a result of this arrest.

Judge Marc Davies said he was struggling to understand why, after being stopped, the defendant had been allowed to get out of the car and enter the pub to buy another drink. The fact that she needed another drink showed the extent of her problem.

A car was a dangerous weapon when being driven by people with such high alcohol readings and the court had a duty to pass the type of sentence that might deter others from doing the same.

Day was jailed for four weeks and banned from driving for four years. She also admitted using a vehicle without a licence for which there was no separate penalty.

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