Student who refused to give breath sample after leaving crash scene avoids jail
A learner driver who refused to give a breath sample after she left the scene of a road collision has avoided jail.
University student Natasha McMullan was handed a four-month suspended sentence for crashing into another car and then driving off.
Belfast Magistrates' Court heard the 31-year-old was behind the wheel of a Renault Megane involved in the accident on the Ravenhill Road on June 8 last year.
Police CCTV tracked the vehicle until it parked at another location in the city.
McMullan, of St John's Close in Belfast, was in the damaged Megane with the engine still running.
A prosecution lawyer said she refused to provide a breath sample despite an apparent smell of alcohol.
McMullan pleaded guilty to failing to stop, report or remain at the scene of an accident where only damage was caused.
She also admitted using a car without insurance, displaying no 'L' Plates, being an unaccompanied learner driver and failing to provide a specimen of breath.
Defence barrister Samantha Madden told the court McMullan is seeking help for her alcohol problems.
Counsel added: "She is engaging with the Open University, starting a business management an accountancy programme which will keep her going for the next four years."
District Judge Fiona Bagnall imposed four months imprisonment, suspended for two years, £100 in fines and disqualified McMullan from driving for two years.
Mrs Bagnall told her: "You are a very intelligent lady, it's a matter for you now whether you make the changes everybody is encouraging you to do."
Belfast Telegraph Digital