Tina Thomas, 52, has been banned from driving for 20 months after causing nearly £12,000 worth of damage to a power grid transformer and a cemetery office wall in Ipswich while nearly twice the drink drive limit.
Magistrates heard how a police constable saw that a learner driver had pulled to the side of the road with their hazard warning lights on. In front of that vehicle was Thomas’ car which had come off the road into a bramble bush.
The officer approached Thomas and enquired if she was OK, to which she responded that she had intended to crash the car and that she would be over the limit. A test on the intoximeter showed that she had 83mcg alcohol in 100ml breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.
Following the roadside breath test Wayne Ablett, prosecuting told how a call was received from UK Power Networks saying that a substation had been hit by a vehicle earlier that evening.
415 lines were left without power after the transformer was destroyed. A generator had to be put in place until repairs could be effected. It was also reported later that there was damage to the Millennium Cemetery office wall where a vehicle had scraped along it and damaged electrical cables. A bumper was left at the scene, including the registration plate from Thomas’ Saab.
Thomas’ representative Russell Butcher explained how his client suffers from mental health issues and had been troubled on the day in question, June 15.
The matter had been adjourned for a fast track pre-sentence report from the probation service and, on returning to court, Thomas was disqualified from driving. She was also given a 12-month community order during which she must comply with an alcohol treatment programme, as well as pay £85 costs and £85 to the victim’s fund.
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