October 23 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, January 9, 2014
A former teacher had to leave a Christmas Day mass at a police officer’s request after driving to the service while nearly three times the drink-drive limit.
Susan Peck, of Lindsey Road, Ipswich, was banned from the road for four years after pleading guilty to her second drink-drive related offence in seven years.
Prosecutor Rosalind Cappleman told Ipswich magistrates that at 10.24am on December 25 police received a report Peck had been seen driving a vehicle which was hitting kerbs and crossing the white lines in the middle of the road.
The 57-year-old’s Renault was located in the car park of St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Woodbridge Road.
It is understood at least one officer went inside the church 10 minutes into the service and asked the ushers to help trace the driver.
Mrs Cappleman said Peck admitted she was the driver and was clearly under the influence of alcohol.
She failed a roadside breath test and was taken into custody.
A subsequent breath test showed she had 103 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.
Magistrates were told Peck had a previous drink-drive related conviction in 2006 for failing to provide a breath specimen.
Lyndon Davies, representing Peck, said his client had been a teacher for 35 years before taking early retirement.
Mr Davies said Peck had been dealing with significant family difficulties last year and was coping with a serious illness herself.
He added: “It was just a terrible year and in my submission she has made a mistake.”
In addition to a 48-month driving ban, Peck was fined £300 and ordered to pay £30 to the victims’ fund as well as £85 costs.