Off-duty police officer stopped drink-driver

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A DRIVER who was more than four times the legal drink-driving limit has appeared in court.

Fiona Liyanage, 40, of Hornbeam Road, Stowupland, pleaded guilty to drink-driving at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Friday, July 8.

The mother of two recorded a reading of 148 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath when she was breathalised by police on June 25, in Stowupland. The legal limit is 35 micrograms.

Lesla Small, prosecuting, said that an off-duty police officer spotted Liyanage’s car, a Smart Forfour, parked on the A1120 central reservation. When she pulled away the witness saw her mount the kerb and swerve across the carriageway, driving ‘all over the road’, said Miss Small.

The witness was so concerned for the safety of other drivers that he managed to pull her over by flashing his lights, sounding his horn and pulling in front of her car, said Miss Small. He then called the police.

Malcolm Plummer, in mitigation, said that Liyanage had been having ‘emotional problems’ since the break-down of her marriage and had been living with a friend. He said she had started drinking after receiving upsetting text messages from her husband and her daughter, but ddid not know why she got in the car.

He said Liyanage was on medication for depression and was ‘extremely upset’ and ‘very remorseful’ about the situation.

The magistrates ordered a full sentence report from the probation service. Liyanage will be sentenced on August 2 at Bury Magistrates’ Court.