Five-year ban for drink driver’s ‘high reading’

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A WOMAN who drove whilst ‘intoxicated’ within 24 hours of bring banned for drink-driving has narrowly escaped prison.

Imposing a five-year driving ban, District Judge Celia Dawson said she had been swayed by Maria Helena Borges Maia’s ‘personal circumstances’ to not give a custodial sentence, despite her ‘exceptionally high reading’ and ‘history of drink-driving’.

Maia, 41, of St Martins Way, Thetford, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, driving whilst disqualified and failing to provide a breath specimen at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

On March 18, police received a call from a someone who saw Miai ‘try to park’ outside a cafe in Old Market Street, almost hitting a car in the process, said Rosalind Cappleman, prosecuting.

When police arrived, they saw a car ‘parked at an angle with most of the vehicle over the pavement’ and opened the driver’s door to find Maia.

She admitted drinking and recorded a reading of 107 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit is 35.

On April 6, a day after Maia had pleaded guilty to drink-driving and received an interim driving ban, police were called to an accident in Canterbury Way to find she had ‘smashed into a traffic calming island’, said Mrs Cappleman.

“She was drunk and blew 105 at the roadside but at the police station, despite warnings, she refused to give a sample,” she said.

Maia told the court: “I’m feeling regret every day.”

She also received a 12 month community order, with 100 hours unpaid work and an emotional wellbeing course, as well as £85 costs.