Driver banned for ‘high’ reading

A MOTHER who was more than four times the legal drink-driving limit has been banned from driving for three years.

Fiona Liyanage, 40, was sentenced at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty at a previous hearing last month.

She was breathalysed after an off-duty police officer spotted her driving erratically in her Smart Forfour in Stowupland on June 25.

She recorded a reading of 148 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 micrograms.

Rosalind Cappleman, prosecuting, said that the off-duty officer noticed Liyanage’s car parked on the A1120 central reservation facing on-coming traffic.

The court heard how when she pulled away she was ‘all over the road’ and mounted the kerb and swerved across the carriageway three times.

The officer managed to stop Liyanage, of Hornbeam Road, Stowupland, by pulling in front of her and called the police because he was concerned for the safety of other drivers.

Jamieson Plummer, mitigating, said Liyanage is going through a difficult divorce and had been drinking after receiving upsetting text messages from her husband and daughter.

Mr Plummer said she had never been in trouble before and has ‘thoroughly learnt her lesson’.

Presiding magistrate Susan Taylor gave Liyanage an 18-month community order because of the ‘exceptionally high’ reading which was ‘nearly off the scale’. Liyanage must complete an activity requirement, pay £85 costs and was banned from driving for three years.