Swansea teacher was three times drink drive limit
A CITY teacher has been banned from driving after being caught at the wheel while more than three times the drink-drive limit.
Siwan Ellis, head of English and Drama at Ysgol Gyfun Bryntawe in Penlan was seen driving erratically on Sketty Lane around 9pm on May 17, by another driver.
The other driver was so concerned about the manner of her driving she attempted to stop the 48-year-old from driving by blocking her car on Mumbles Road, near the Woodman Inn.
However, Ellis attempted to manoeuvre away and police were called. A breath test revealed Ellis had an alcohol level of 116 micrograms in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.
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Swansea Magistrates Court was told the incident happened after Ellis, of Mayals Road, had been visiting her mother.
The court heard from a probation officer who said: “On the day of the offence she had been at her mother’s home discussing an accident which happened to a close friend of hers, who five years ago had suffered extensive brain damage, and she had been supporting her through this.
“They had spoken for two to three hours, and she had drunk a full glass of wine and then a second before her journey home.
“She says she does have a social drink at the weekend, but there are no alcohol issues or dependency.
“While at her mother’s she had no food, and only a light meal of pasta at 6pm. Because of her stature, and having so little to eat, it might have impacted on the reading which was taken by police.
“She is clearly very remorseful, and knows drinking and driving is not acceptable behaviour.
“She is an industrious teacher in a senior position, and knows driving under the influence is not tolerated by the community. She is only a social drinker who has clearly learned a salutary lesson.”
Ellis was banned from driving for 24 months, and ordered to carry out 80 hours community service, and pay £150 costs.
She told the court: “I take work in school very, very seriously, and we had the best English results in the whole of Swansea.
“I am very sorry for what I have done, and I am prepared to accept any decision you [magistrates] make.”
Chairman of Ysgol Gyfun Bryntawe’s board of governors Heini Gruffudd said: “It’s a very sad case.”
Reiterating what Ellis said in court about the school’s results in English, he added: “She is an excellent teacher — one of the best in the school — and the school had excellent results.
“We hope we can find a way forward — she really is a remarkable teacher.”