Drink-driver almost hit parked car

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POLICE stopped a motorist on Winnats Pass, concerned that they would not be able to negotiate passing a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction, a court heard.

They had seen the Toyota Avensis clip a kerb and almost collide with a parked car in Castleton, just after midnight on June 9, prosecutor John Cooper told High Peak magistrates.

When the vehicle turned into Winnats Pass officers saw a car was travelling down and activated their blue lights. The car coming down stopped and the Toyota squeezed past before driving onto the verge.

The Toyota driver, Debra Bennett, 51, of White Knowle Close, Buxton, failed to provide a breath test sample at the roadside and at the station despite repeated attempts only managed to provide partial readings ranging from 74 to 93.

She pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen.

James Riley, defending, said: “This is a lady of previous good character and this incident is totally out of character.”

He said a combination of circumstances: family illness, work problems and her husband’s impending redundancy had resulted in his client being in an extremely low and depressed state.

Mr Riley said her failure to complete the breath test procedure was due to panic and anxiety and she had been trying to co-operate.

“She has been dramatically affected by the court proceedings and accepts she has brought them on herself.

“She is thoroughly ashamed of getting into this situation.”

Bennett was banned from driving for 12 months and must pay fines and costs totalling £250.

She was given the option of reducing the ban by completing a drink driver referral course.