Felixstowe Alfa Romeo drink-driver had child in car when she crashed
A Felixstowe drink-driver had a child in her car when crashing it while more than three times the limit, a court heard.
Recovering alcoholic Samantha Simmonds, of Coronation Drive, had reverted to alcohol after seeing a woman outside her ex-partner’s address.
The 32-year-old pleaded guilty at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court to drink-driving and failing to stop after an accident.
A breath test after the collision showed she had 113 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.
Simmonds was driving an Alfa Romeo Giulietta when the collision occurred in Butley Road, Felixstowe, on July 11. Prosecutor Lucy Miller said at the time of the accident a child was strapped in a car seat in the rear of the vehicle.
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Simmonds crashed into a parked car, causing extensive damage to both vehicles and the air bags in the Alfa Romeo to be deployed.
The court was told she and the child sustained bruising and minor injuries.
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A resident heard the crash and recognised Simmonds from school when she went outside.
Both Simmonds and the child were taken into the witness’s home and an ambulance was called.
Although Simmonds went into the property she told the resident she had to go and left.
John Hughes, representing Simmonds, said his client was a recovering alcoholic who had not touched alcohol for six-and-a-half years.
The court was told Simmonds had seen a female in a car outside her former partner’s home.
She then went to buy some wine before drinking it.
Mr Hughes said his client could not understand why she had done what she did.
When interviewed by police Simmonds had said she was very ashamed of her actions and had very little recollection of the events.
District Judge Sandeep Kainth told Simmonds: “You put yourself in danger, but more importantly you put [the child] in danger.
“The impact on [the child] would have been pretty difficult to come to grips with and you will have to live with that.”
Judge Kainth said he accepted the incident was a “blip” in Simmonds’ recovery from alcoholism.
He added: “You have really to ensure you don’t find yourself in this scenario again.”
Simmonds was sentenced to a 12-month community order with an 80-hour unpaid work requirement.
She was also banned from driving for 30 months and ordered to pay £85 costs, as well as £85 to the victims’ fund.