Northumberland drink driver's breath test was 'one of highest' judge had ever seen


A drink driver from Northumberland was nearly a staggering five times over the limit when she was stopped by police.

Fay Watson's breath test reading was described by a judge as "one of the highest he'd ever seen" and was off the court guidelines scale when she was pulled over in Corbridge.

Prosecutors said that when the 44-year-old was spoken to by officers, she had a bottle of vodka on her passenger seat and appeared intoxicated.

Newcastle Magistrates' Court was told that police had received a report of a potential drink driver on the evening of 22 May this year and later stopped Watson, also known as Fay Dalby, as she travelled in her VW Tiguan on Hill Street.

She was arrested after giving a reading of 164mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath when the legal limit is 35mcg.

Watson, of Hippingstones Lane, in Corbridge, has narrowly avoided being jailed after she pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

Giving her a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, District Judge Paul Currer said: "You were stopped driving a motor vehicle and required to provide a specimen of breath because you had been clearly drinking and there was a bottle of vodka in your car.

"It's very sad to see you here losing your good character. A reading of 164mcg is one of the highest readings I have ever come across.

"How could you even consider driving when you were so far over the limit? Police had received a report of a potential drink driver so somebody was aware you were a danger to yourself and others."

The court heard that Watson, who has no past convictions, had decided to get behind the wheel on the evening in question in order to get petrol.

Ian Cassidy, defending, said Watson was remorseful, had stopped drinking alcohol completely and was unlikely to trouble a court again.

He added: "She accepts she made a foolish decision. Fortunately, there was no accident and there were no passengers."

The court heard that Watson "hadn't realised" how drunk she was and was shocked to learn of the level of alcohol in her breath.

As well as the suspended sentence, she Watson was also ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work and to pay £85 costs and a £128 victim surcharge. She was also banned from driving for three years.