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Student who went to check on boyfriend was over drink-drive limit

By Karen Compton | Mid Wales | News | Published:

A student who drove whilst over the limit to check on her boyfriend who had gone camping has been banned from the road for 14 months.

Zoe Jane Pritchard admitted driving a Renault Clio on the A483, in Builth Wells, while over the drink drive limit on June 7, when she appeared at Llandrindod Wells Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

The 20 year-old, of Parc Hafod, Trefynon, Newtown, Powys, had 55 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Prosecuting, Mr Stephen Davies said Pc Dalman was on duty at 2.30am when he came across the red Clio parked at the gateway of the Royal Welsh Showground in Llanelwedd, BuilthWells.

There were two females in the vehicle, which was parked at an angle, with part of it still in the carriageway.

Pritchard said she had driven half a mile from town to the showground and the police officer could smell alcohol on her breath.

The roadside test was positive and further tests at the police station showed 55 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

Mitigating Mr Gareth Walters said the student was about to start her final year and hoped to move into teaching to start with.

“This conviction may set her back in her ambitions but she will learn from this and will ultimately move on,” he said.

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“She had been at her boyfriend’s house in Builth Wells with other members of his family and friends.

"Her boyfriend had gone camping and they had not heard from them all day so she got into the car to see if they were okay.

“They did not go too far when she realised her mistake, that she should not have driven and she stopped but the police vehicle was behind her.”

Mr Walters said Pritchard, who had previously worked as a lifeguard, struck him as someone who would not make the same mistake in the future.

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Chairman of the Magistrates, Mrs Ingrid Gallagher said: “It is a sad affair because you have lost your good character and you now have a criminal record.”

They fined Pritchard £120 and ordered her to pay £85 costs and a £34 surcharge.

She was banned from driving for 14 months but she was offered the chance to attend a drink-drive rehabilitation course.

Karen Compton

By Karen Compton
Chief Reporter

Reporter on the Mid Wales Journal.

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