Burnley pensioner who crashed into road sign was unable to provide breath test

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A Burnley pensioner who didn’t give a police station breath test has been banned for 14 months – but says she will never drive again.

Janet Wilkinson tried several times, but didn’t provide sufficient breath for a reading. She had allegedly been caught over twice the drink-drive limit after crashing into a road sign in the town.

Burnley magistrates heard how the 66-year-old cooperated with police at the roadside, where she blew 87 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Mrs Alex Mann, prosecuting, told the court the defendant was taken to the police station, where she tried to provide a breath sample. The prosecutor continued: "She tried on four occasions to provide a sufficient sample.”

She added: "It’s not a deliberate refusal. It does appear she was trying to cooperate.” Wilkinson had no previous convictions.

Mr Trevor Grice, defending, said Wilkinson had never been in trouble before. She had a clean licence and had driving for 40 years.

The solicitor continued: "She has expressed to me she is so ashamed to be here and she has avowed that she will probably never drive again.”

Mr Grice said Wilkinson had had a clutch failure, temporarily lost control and hit a bollard. She waited for police and cooperated fully. She tried to cooperate as best she could at the station, but couldn’t provide a sample.

He went on: "She can’t offer an explanation as to why that did not happen.”

The defendant, of Castlerigg Drive, Burnley, admitted failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis, on November 11. She was fined £346, with £85 costs and a £34 victim surcharge.