A WOMAN who "used alcohol to deal with trauma" has been banned from driving after hitting a car and failing to stop.

On June 18, 2019, Charlene Matthews was driving along Kennet Road in Tidworth while over the legal alcohol limit - with 142 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the alcohol limit for drivers is 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath - making Matthews more than four times over the limit.

At a hearing on February 12, Salisbury Magistartes' Court heard that at around 5pm, Matthews hit another car and drove away from the scene.

Prosecutor Keith Ballinger told the court the car the defendant was driving collided with the back of another car, causing it to spin.

She then reversed the Alpha Romero and drove away from the incident.

It was heard that Matthews had also driven into bushes and there was a collision at a nearby Spar shop.

Mr Ballinger added that when officers located Matthews, she was "intoxicated" and "slurring her words".

When taken to Melksham Custody she said it was not her driving and she had not driven that car for a long time.

The defendant has one previous conviction of drink driving.

Defending, William Griffiths said Matthews has used the time since the incident "positively" and she is now "a different lady".

He added she had previously turned to alcohol because of "difficult circumstances in her life".

He said the 33-year-old "used alcohol to deal with trauma", but "the whole situation has been a wake up and this has been the catalyst to achieving her goals".

"She knows she will be banned from driving for a very long time."

Magistrates said Matthews had "total disregard for road users and was a danger to others", describing her alcohol intake as "a very high reading" that the court does not often have to deal with.

Matthews, of Treveneague Gardens, Plymouth, was disqualified from driving for 14 months, and was given a prison sentence suspended for 18 months.

If Matthews reoffends during this period she could be sent to prison.

She was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115 and costs of £200.

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