Too drunk to even take a breath test

THIS is the face of the shameless drink driver who a policeman said is the worst case he has seen in years.Wendy Smith, of Grove Lane, Ipswich is today banned from the roads for two years after admitting at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court that she decided to drive her car while drunk - because it was raining.

THIS is the face of the shameless drink driver who a policeman said is the worst case he has seen in years.

Wendy Smith, of Grove Lane, Ipswich is today banned from the roads for two years after admitting at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court that she decided to drive her car while drunk - because it was raining.

The court heard yesterday that she was in such a drunken state that when she crashed into a bollard near the Horse and Groom pub in Woodbridge Road Ipswich, she was not physically able to take a breath test.

Smith, 46, pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen following the incident on March 16.

The case has sparked outrage with road safety campaigners, who today called for people to remember the dangers of drink drivers, with hundreds of people losing their lives to similar reckless acts every year.

Prosecuting, Naomi Turner, said a duty police officer, based at Ipswich police station, spotted a car crash into pedestrian traffic bollards near Argyle Street.

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She said: “Pc Jonathan Firman saw the female sitting in the driver's seat staring.

“When he opened the door, she smelt of intoxicating liquor. She got out of the car and was extremely drunk.

“He said he had never seen somebody so drunk in charge of a motor vehicle in seven years.

“She failed to provide any specimen on five occasions. The officer said that in his opinion, she was so drunk she couldn't even blow properly.”

Unrepresented, Smith, who is working on a short-term contract at a building site in Kesgrave, said: “I tried to use the breathalyser a few times but it didn't work. It wasn't intentional. I apologise for what I have done.

“If I go out usually, I don't take the car. I only took the car because it was raining. When I came out after, it was dark and raining so I thought I'd drive home.

“If I lose my licence, it's down to my stupidity. I greatly regret it. I should not have taken the car in the first place. I'm not in the habit of drinking and driving.”

A spokeswoman for road safety charity, Brake, said: “More than ten people every week lose their lives to drink drivers on the roads.

“We have got to send out a very strong message that people shouldn't be mixing any amount of alcohol with driving and certainly not getting to the point where they cannot provide a specimen. It is fortunate that she only crashed into an inanimate object.

“Let's hope this ban will serve its purpose and stops her even thinking about drink driving and sends a message to others about how dangerous it is to drink and drive.”

Robert Skinner, chair of the magistrates' bench, gave Smith a community order for 12 months, required to be supervised, and ordered her to attend a probation programme for drink drivers.

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