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Drink-driver faked panic attacks to avoid giving breath tests
A woman who repeatedly faked panic attacks to prevent officers from testing her for drink-driving has been banned from the road for more than a year.
Laura Leslie repeatedly claimed she needed medical help and refused to answer police questions after she was arrested in Brighton.
The 49-year-old was first spotted behind the wheel of her Ford Focus in Wilson Avenue, Brighton, at 6.15am on October 12.
Members of the public alerted police after they spotted her driving without her lights on.
Witnesses then saw the car veer across the road, mount a kerb and almost hitting a pole before officers intercepted it on the A259 Marine Parade.
Leslie, 49, of Douglas Avenue, Hythe, Kent, was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.
But she claimed to be having a panic attack so an ambulance was called and she was taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton.
Staff at the hospital decided she was fit to be questioned but as soon as she was put in a police car she again said 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.
When Leslie appeared at Brighton Magistrates' Court she pleaded not guilty to the charge but was convicted last week and 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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