A Brighton court has banned a woman from driving after she faked panic attacks to prevent officers from testing her for drink driving.
Laura Leslie repeatedly claimed that she needed medical help and refused to answer police questions after she was arrested in Brighton.
Leslie, 49, of Douglas Avenue in Hythe, Kent, was spotted driving her Ford Focus without its lights on in Wilson Avenue, Whitehawk, at 6.15am on Saturday 12 October.
Sussex Police said that witnesses saw the car veer across the road, mount a kerb and almost hit a pole before officers intercepted it on the A259 Marine Parade.
Leslie was driving the car but she refused to co-operate with officers and was arrested on suspicion of driving while unfit through drink.
She then claimed to be having a panic attack so an ambulance was called and she was taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital.
Staff at the hospital decided that she was fit to be questioned but as soon as she was put in a police car she again said that she was having an attack.
After medical staff released her for the second time, Leslie refused to answer questions and repeatedly demanded to be allowed to go to the bathroom and to speak to a doctor.
She also refused to be breathalysed at a police station so was charged with failing to provide a specimen for analysis.
When Leslie appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court she pleaded not guilty to the charge but was convicted.
She was banned from driving for 20 months and ordered to pay £250 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
PC Laura Stanley said: “Leslie tried everything to get off the hook including forcing us to waste the time of doctors and nurses as we tried to test her for drink driving.
“She even pleaded not guilty in court so wasted both our and her time trying to fight a charge that she knew she was guilty of.
“Now she’s got not only a ban from driving but also a big legal bill to pay.”
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