LITTLEPORT: Teenager Who Failed To Give Breath Test Is Banned From Driving For A year
PUBLISHED: 16:54 17 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:51 04 May 2010
A TEENAGER sobbed as city magistrates banned her from driving for a year. 18-year-old Izadora Souza, of Longfield Road, Littleport, appeared at Ely Magistrates Court on Thursday, charged with failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis. Laura Mar
A TEENAGER sobbed as city magistrates banned her from driving for a year.
18-year-old Izadora Souza, of Longfield Road, Littleport, appeared at Ely Magistrates Court on Thursday, charged with failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis.
Laura Mardell, prosecuting, told the court that Souza had been arrested in the early hours of March 27 after hitting a lamp post at the junction of Broad Street and Back Hill. She failed a roadside breath test and was taken into custody for questioning.
Souza, who was not represented by a solicitor in court, told the magistrates that the officer "rushed her" during the second breath test.
She said: "He was rushing me, telling me he had to go and see his son. I didn't have enough breath to fill the machine and he got very impatient and wouldn't let me try again."
The magistrates put the case back for an hour so that Souza could seek advice from the on-duty solicitor, concerned that she did not understand the seriousness and consequences of the charge.
However, when Souza returned, she maintained her guilty plea and was not represented.
She broke down in tears as she tried to read a letter she had written to the magistrates and the clerk of the court offered to finish it on her behalf.
The clerk read: "I can't believe how stupid I have been. I really don't know if I was over the limit or not. I was blowing as hard as I could on the machine. I didn't understand until I got home that I should have done a slow and steady breath.
"I don't drink very often and I have never driven after having a drink before."
The letter went on to explain that Souza should have stayed at a friend's house that night but after an argument got into her car to drive home.
She has contacted the council and agreed to pay for the damage to the lamp-post, estimated to be between £1,500 and £2,000.
She explained that she needed to drive to get to her job in Soham and to care for her step-father, who is due to undergo a complex operation in Guy's Hospital in London next month.
She said: "The people who will be punished most by a ban will be my parents and they don't deserve that."
The Peugeot 206, which was not covered by her third party insurance, was written off. It had been a gift to her from her grandparents, who were devastated that the first new car they had owned had been destroyed.
The magistrates told Souza: "You have clearly learnt a very expensive lesson, so we are not going to hammer you, but we do have to disqualify you for 12 months. You will also be fined £100 and will have to pay £60 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.