A 45-year-old woman who failed to provide a breath sample when arrested on suspicion of drink-driving was warned that the offence could have merited jail time - but was handed a community service order and driving ban.
The Magistrate's Court heard that Andrea Naylor parked her silver Volkswagen Polo in La Rocque car park on the evening of 13 December.
St Helier Centenier Paul Davies said police officers approached the car, which had its lights on and its engine running.
"She appeared unsteady and smelt strongly of intoxicant. She was slightly slurring her words," he said.
She was asked for a breath sample at police headquarters but he added: "She didn't breathe into the machine properly."
Advocate Chris Baglin, defending, pointed out that Naylor had pleaded guilty early.
He said that she and her husband had arrived in Jersey four months earlier. Her husband, who does not drive, was working temporarily as a cleaner and she had unexpectedly had to take him to the house where he was working.
Advocate Baglin said: "She was crying throughout the proceedings. She had a panic attack on the way to the station. It all got a bit much for her."
He added: "It was a failure rather than a refusal. There was no attempt to evade the consequences of the offence."
Assistant Magistrate Peter Harris took account of the fact that Naylor had no previous convictions in imposing community service instead of prison.
He said: "You made a mistake on that evening. You are not the first person to make such a mistake and you won't be the last."
He also disqualified her from driving for two years and ordered her to take the Jersey driving test afterwards.
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