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Magistrates sitting at Fareham Magistrates Court in Hampshire disqualified April Pickett, 36, for 12 months and fined her £300 for drink driving and leaving the scene of an accident.
Following an accident she stated that she had to get home to get to her children who were being looked after by a babysitter. She initially claimed that she had then had a drink that had taken her over the limit. She was breathalysed at the police station and it was established that she had 42ųg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35ųg. The police did not believe Pickett’s story and believe she was lying about having drinks when she got home as she could not produce a glass or a bottle that she had drunk from. In a later police statement she stated that she’d had a couple of drinks after finishing her shift and then drove home and crashed her Mercedes into a BMW motor vehicle, causing more than £2,500 worth of damage and 3 passengers in the car also suffered whiplash injuries.
In the circumstances this would appear to be a rather lenient sentence given the aggravating factor of being involved in an accident and also leaving the scene of the accident.
As her reading in breath was 42ųg of alcohol, she would have been entitled to the statutory option and to substitute her specimen of breath with one of blood or urine. Any driver whose lower reading in breath is between 40-51ųg is entitled to have their breath sample substituted for one of blood or urine, although the choice is up to the police officer unless there are medical reasons. If the motorist is not offered the statutory option having produced a specimen of breath in the above range, the police have not followed the procedure correctly and you may have a technical defence.