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

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.
Burnley Magistrates' CourtBurnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

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.

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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.”

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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.