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Drunk Leanne Clark had to swerve to avoid police car

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: March 17, 2014

A POLICE officer driving a marked vehicle saw a car coming towards him on the wrong side of the road on the A39, a court was told.

Its driver, Leanne Clark, had to swerve to avoid a collision with the police car but continued on the wrong side of the road around a bend.

Clark was later found to be more than three times over the alcohol limit for driving.

When she appeared before Bodmin magistrates on Monday, 33-year-old Clark, of Boundary Drive, Marhamchurch, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in her breath.

Nigel Hall, for the prosecution, said that the police officer first saw Clark near Union Hill at just before midnight on February 28. When he spoke to Clark in a car park on Spicers Lane, Stratton, he noted that she smelt of alcohol and was extremely unsteady on her feet. A breath test showed she had 112 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, the limit being 35mcg.

Mr Hall said Clark was tearful and apologetic when interviewed by police.

Barry Hilliard, for the defence, said that Clark was a single working mother of four children and had no previous convictions.

On the night of the offence one of her children had gone on a sleepover and she and a friend had been drinking at home, not expecting to have to go out. After receiving an initial phonecall to say that her child was ill but OK, she then received a second call to say that he wanted to come home.

"Her maternal instinct was to go and pick him up," Mr Hilliard told the court.

He pointed out that Clark had character references, including from her employer, and that the inevitable ban would have a significant impact on her and her family.

The magistrates fined Clark £280 with £85 costs and a £28 victim surcharge and banned her from driving for two years and one month, to be reduced by 25 weeks if she completes a drink-drive rehabilitation course.

She was warned that she would now be classed as a high risk offender and would have to satisfy the DVLA of her medical fitness to drive before her licence would be returned to her.

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