A driver in the Isle of Man who refused to give a breath test claimed Botox treatment meant she could not purse her lips. Anna Fratanu, 68, of Westhill Village, Ramsey, was confronted by police in the car park of the Ramsey branch of Shoprite on July 31. She was taken back to the police station where she failed to provide a breath specimen, at first claiming the treatment, two days earlier, prevented her from blowing effectively into the machine.
For the prosecution, Michael Jelski told the court her driving was so erratic witnesses were prompted to report her.
But when police interrogated her about it she told them she always drove like that.
Her grey Mitsubishi Colt was spotted heading along several roads and on Shoprite car park at around 4.30pm.
Its progress was described as ‘erratic’ and ‘all over the road’. When she tried to park, she ended up only half in a disabled space with the back end of her car sticking out.
Inside the shop, she was visibly unsteady on her feet and her speech was slurred. Police found her sitting in the driver’s seat of her car.
When she was taken to the police station, she told officers she had not had anything to drink, she had no time to spare as she was preparing a picnic, she was taking medication for vertigo and she was not wearing her glasses. She said her driving was no different from usual.
Defending her, Ian Kermode provided a letter of apology to the court and said his client was now admitting failing to provide a breath sample.
He said she had attempted to blow into the device but accepted she had not tried very hard. He told the court she had been drinking the previous evening but not on the day in question and he said she blamed the erratic driving on a fault with her car’s clutch which meant stopping and starting was difficult.
‘She made three attempts to blow into the machine but accepts she did not try hard and did not have a reasonable excuse,’ he said. Mr Kermode said Fratanu worked as a carer and needed her driving licence. He said the position included her food and lodgings as well as some wages.
‘She apologises for being less than co-operative at the police station. She will, in all likelihood, be looking for another job after today so the impact is considerable,’ Mr Kermode said.
Magistrates’ chairman Julian Ashcroft fined her £1,000 and ordered her to pay £300 costs. She was also banned from driving for five years and must pass an extended driving test at the end of the ban.
She must also attend a drink drivers’ alcohol rehabilitation course before being allowed to drive again.