Shamed | 

Drink-drive teacher who was almost five times over limit gets four year driving ban

Diane Miller’s defence solicitor accepted her alcohol reading was “one of the highest I have encountered in my career”

Diane Miller

Diane Miller

John TonerSunday Life

A shamed teacher who staggered out of an off-licence and into her car while almost five times over the drink-drive limit has been banned from driving for four years.

Mother-of-four Diane Miller (48), who worked at North West Regional College’s Limavady campus, pleaded guilty to drink driving at Coleraine Magistrates Court in August.

During her sentencing last Monday she was disqualified from driving for four years and must retake her driving test before being allowed back behind the wheel.

She is able to reduce her driving ban by one year by completing an alcohol-awareness course.

Miller, of Carthall Manor, Coleraine, was also handed a one-year probation order, which contains a requirement to engage with an alcohol programme as part of her sentence.

Miller’s level of intoxication at the time of the incident was so high that District Judge Peter King told an earlier hearing he could not pass sentence without a report from the probation services.

Diane Miller

Despite numerous attempts to contact Miller, she has not responded to request for comment.

The sports lecturer was arrested by the PSNI on August 4 after eagle-eyed workers at a Winemark in Coleraine spotted her “staggering” towards her car after buying several bottles of wine, a previous court heard.

Staff looked on as she got behind the wheel and drove off, before they called police and passed on her registration.

Officers arrived at Miller’s home a short time later, but, despite being visible sitting in the living room through her front window, she initially did not come to the door.

Miller eventually answered and gave an alcohol reading of 170, which is almost five times the limit.

After being arrested, she claimed to have had just “a couple of glasses of wine” but added she was “disgusted at herself” over the incident.

She later pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

Accepting Miller’s alcohol reading as “one of the highest I have encountered in my career”, her defence solicitor, Greg Calvin, said she had “excelled” at being a teacher for the past 25 years but had taken a career break as she “took steps to address her alcohol issues”.

DJ King described her drink reading as a “gross level of alcohol” and praised the actions of the off-licence staff.

North West Regional College previously declined to comment on the incident.

When asked to clarify if Miller was still an employee and if she would be disciplined over the matter, a spokesperson said: “North West Regional College does not comment on individual staffing matters.”

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