Woman, 48, downed vodka and crashed car following gym session

Suffolk Magistrates' Court  Picture: GREGG BROWN

Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: GREGG BROWN

A 48-year-old Suffolk woman has been banned from driving for more than two years after crashing her car into another vehicle and a traffic island while almost four times the legal alcohol limit.

Annie Harper appeared before magistrates in Ipswich on Tuesday to admit driving with 128 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - exceeded the prescribed limit of 35mcg.

The 48-year-old, of Hintlesham Drive, Felixstowe, was reported to police for driving a Mazda2 erratically along High Road West at about 5.05pm on September 25.

Prosecutor Colette Harper said witnesses saw Harper narrowly avoid a head-on crash before colliding with a traffic island and the front of a parked car in Seaton Road.

She said Harper refused to give a sample of breath at the roadside but was found to be "well over the limit" when tested in custody.

Before sentencing, Harper explained to the probation service that she had consumed almost an entire bottle of vodka after returning home from the gym to learn of her husband's infidelity, via text from a friend, at about 1pm.

She said her judgement had been "wholly impaired" by the amount of alcohol and lack of food consumed - and that she recalled little until being stopped by police.

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The court heard Harper had lost the opportunity of promotion working with vulnerable children, and would have to seek minimum wage employment in the care industry, as a result of the offence.

Matthew Edwards, mitigating, said: "Finding out about her husband's infidelity led to the drinking, which led to the offence.

"She made a full and frank set of admissions in police interview, and was entirely open about what she had done.

"The sole reason this happened is because she received a shock about her marriage of 19 years.

"In short, she got a terrible shock, reacted badly and did something that brought her before the court.

"She had a very bad day and is remorseful for that.

"Her previous life is unblemished, and her future life is likely to be unblemished."

Harper was handed a 12-month community order, including 150 hours of unpaid work and 10 days of rehabilitation activity requirement.

She was also disqualified from driving for 29 months.

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