Carla Tidd in King’s Lynn court after failing to provide specimen for analysis after drink-driving
“I just didn’t expect the sentence to be so high. This is going to ruin my life financially.”
Those were the words of North Wootton woman Carla Tidd, 50, who was sentenced for failing to provide a specimen for analysis when she appeared at Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
She pleaded guilty to the offence, which she committed on October 19. Crown prosecutor Holly Postle told the court that at around 11pm on that date, Tidd was travelling along Nursery Lane in nearby South Wootton when police officers noted her “erratic” driving.
They pulled her over and asked her to complete a breath test, which returned a reading of 111mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The legal limit to drive is 35mcg.
She was arrested and taken to Lynn’s Police Investigation Centre, where she was asked to provide evidential samples for analysis – but she failed to do so.
At the time, Tidd told officers she was “pissed off” and proceeded to complain about the late time of day.
The defendant, who had 11 previous convictions for 21 offences, told the court: “I am truly sorry that I was on the road. It was disgusting, what I did – getting in the car over the limit.
“It wasn’t far – it was close to my house. I am truly thankful that I didn’t hurt anybody.”
Magistrates, led by Ginny Hutton, asked probation services to carry out a stand-down report on Tidd before they sentenced her.
Probation officer Lewis Spicer said: “The most important thing is that she has been able to show genuine regret and remorse. She knows it could have been a very different story if she had hit someone.”
He said Tidd has a 16% chance of re-offending in the next two years, and that a prison sentence – which was a possibility on Thursday – would seriously impact her life.
“I would like to think this is a one-off that is not likely to happen again,” Mr Spicer added.
Magistrates subsequently disqualified Tidd from driving for 29 months, prompting a response in which she argued the sentence was “excessive”.
“I just didn’t expect the sentence to be so high,” she said.
“This is going to ruin my life financially.”
Tidd also claimed she used the Internet to research disqualification lengths for drink-drivers, and claimed: “Even if you Google it, people have not been given two years for drink-driving twice.”
However, she was informed that two-time drink-driving offenders can indeed be banned for longer periods.
Tidd was also handed a 12-month community order which will require her to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work, while she will pay a total of £219 in court costs.