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Barnstaple care worker caught drink driving on A361

By NDJFran  |  Posted: September 24, 2013

A CARE worker was caught drink driving after she tried driving to work at 7pm, thinking it was 7am.

Suzanne Braund, 55, of Portland Buildings in Barnstaple, was stopped by police on August 28 after she was seen on the A361.

She was stopped at around 8.40pm after officers witnessed her car swerving on the road between Braunton and Barnstaple.

Braund was extremely unsteady on her feet and was given a roadside breath test which was positive.

Once in police custody she blew 128 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

North Devon magistrates heard on the night of the offence Braund had been for a counselling session and when she left started reflecting on what had been discussed and then began drinking.

She drank around half a bottle of whiskey and went to bed.

The court heard she woke up thought she had to be at work at 7am when in fact it was 7pm.

Paul Walters, defending, said: “She got to Braunton and realised something was wrong because there were more people there than she was expecting. She said she felt alright.”

Mr Walters said Braund had married when she was 17 and had three children who left home and she began spending more time on her own.

She began drinking and was diagnosed as an alcoholic around 18 months ago.

Braund was placed at North Devon Hospital on a detox in April when she stopped drinking altogether.

Around June she took on work as a carer and became attached to one individual who passed away about a month ago before the offence took place.

Braund pleaded guilty to drink driving and was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.

She was also disqualified from driving for 30 months and ordered to undertake a community order and pay £85 costs as well as a victim surcharge of £85.

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