Police took six hours to breath test woman

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It took six hours before police breath-tested a woman who had her son in the car when she was involved in a crash on Spalding’s Bourne Road.

Driver Julie Loveridge (41) and others phoned police following the 4.30pm accident, but a friend took her to hospital for treatment to a shoulder injury and she wasn’t breath-tested until after 10.30pm.

Loveridge, of Jubilee Close, Spalding, admitted driving with 50 microgrammes of alcohol in breath – 15mcgs above the limit – when she appeared at Spalding Magistrates’ Court on Thursday. She was fined £300 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Magistrates banned Loveridge from driving for 12 months, but will allow her to reduce that by three months if she takes a rehabilitation course.

Jim Clare, prosecuting, said police attended the scene of a road traffic accident involving an Audi A4 and Ford Fiesta at about 10pm on October 28.

The Fiesta had considerable front end damage and police went to the home of the registered keeper, Loveridge, who admitted drinking before the accident.

Solicitor Rachel Stevens, mitigating, said the accident happened at 4.30pm and a number of people at the scene called police, including Loveridge, but she wasn’t breath tested until police went to her house some time after 10.30pm.

She exchanged details with the other driver and a friend to took her to hospital while another friend cared for her son.

Miss Stevens said Loveridge admitted having two pints of Strongbow cider before the accident.

Loveridge told police she hadn’t had anything to drink since, but she and her partner shared another bottle of Strongbow after she returned home.

Miss Stevens said Loveridge accepted the reading of 50 microgrammes was “probably about right” for the two pints of Strongbow and did not seek to put forward evidence of post-accident drinking to mitigate the reading.

“She is deeply ashamed that she has come to court today,” Miss Stevens said.