Drink-driver three times limit had 'slow metabolism'
4:30pm Thursday 17th April 2014 in Ammanford news
A 48-year-old Swansea Valley hairdresser who claimed she had not had a drink for more than 12 hours was three times the legal driving limit when stopped by police, a court has heard.
Helen Walters Morgan, of 71 Gwilym in Cwmllynfell, also told Llanelli magistrates that she had slept and eaten two meals – breakfast and lunch – between the end of a night out and when she was stopped by police at 2pm on March 30.
Prosecutor Vaughan Prichard Jones told the court how police had received reports of an Audi A3 car crossing the lines of the carriageway and being driven in an erratic fashion on the A40 near Carmarthen.
The driver – Walters Morgan – continued to “stray out of lane” as the officers followed with blue lights flashing on the patrol car.
She eventually pulled over and tests showed she had 105 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.
“Three times the limit represents a considerable amount of alcohol,” Mr Prichard Jones told the court.
Steven John, defending, told magistrates that it appeared Walters Morgan suffered from “a slow metabolism”.
“She admits that a lot of alcohol was drunk the previous day up until 1am,” Mr John said.
“It was a full day’s drinking, but she was pulled over by the police at 2pm the next day.
“She had slept and had breakfast and lunch before she drove so she assumed she would be OK to drive by then.
“It is very unfortunate that she finds herself in this position.”
Mr John said that Walters Morgan – a mum of one – had only recently taken over a salon and used her car to ferry customers to and from the business.
“She has a lot of elderly clients who cannot make it to the salon without her help,” he said.
“She is previously of clean character with a clean licence,” he added.
Walters Morgan admitted drink-driving.
Magistrates told her: “This is a serious enough offence for us to impose a community order lasting 12 months with a number of requirements.”
Walters Morgan was ordered to undertake 12 months supervision and take part in a drink-impaired drivers course.
She was also ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work in the community.
Magistrates also banned her from driving for 26 months and ordered she pay £85 court costs and a further £60 legal surcharge.