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Ipswich: Young dad admits driving to McDonald’s nearly three times over limit was ‘biggest mistake of my life’

PUBLISHED: 09:12 07 January 2014 | UPDATED: 09:12 07 January 2014

Dad-of-two Francis Gray, of Raeburn Road, has spoken of his regret after driving his sisters silver Peugeot late at night when nearly three times over the limit.

Dad-of-two Francis Gray, of Raeburn Road, has spoken of his regret after driving his sisters silver Peugeot late at night when nearly three times over the limit.

Archant

Five more motorists have lost their licences after being caught drink-driving in Ipswich.

Dad-of-two Francis Gray, of Raeburn Road, has spoken of his regret after driving his sister’s silver Peugeot late at night when nearly three times over the limit.

Gray admitted driving with excess alcohol, taking a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent and driving without a licence and insurance when he appeared before magistrates yesterday.

Prosecutor Collett Harper said the 25-year-old decided to visit a McDonald’s restaurant because he was “feeling peckish”.

The court heard police officers spotted the young father driving on Norwich Road without his lights on. He was “unsteady on his feet” after being pulled over on December 18.

A subsequent breath test showed he had 77 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.

Gray was disqualified from driving for 22 months and ordered to pay £145 in court costs. He was also told to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work to benefit the community.

Speaking afterwards, Gray said: “It was the biggest mistake of my life. I am really sorry for what I did.

“I am fully aware of the dangers (of drink-driving). It could have been a lot worse. I could have ended up in a body bag – or worse, someone else could have.

“Thankfully there was no damage.”

He warned “some people think they can get away with drink-driving”.

“But someone is going to catch you out,” he said.

“Just don’t do it. (Drink-driving) is a lot worse than what people
make out. It has certainly woken me up.”

Disqualifications totalling 93 months – nearly eight years – were issued to five motorists at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court.

They come as the Ipswich Star continues its annual Christmas campaign against drink-driving.

Over the past 20 years this
newspaper has campaigned against drink-driving, particularly over the festive period, and we will name and shame those who continue to flout the law.

In a separate case at the same court, Ipswich mum-of-three Erita Kokorevica, of Cavendish Street, was banned from driving for 17 months and ordered to pay £215 in court costs.

The 33-year-old’s silver BMW was stopped by police on Grimwade Street, Ipswich, on December 22. A breath test showed she had 62mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath

A tearful Kokorevica said she was in an “extreme situation” as her childminder had called saying she had to leave.

Eighteen-year-old Antony Warne was disqualified from driving for 20 months and fined a total of £375 after pleading guilty to driving with excess alcohol and assaulting a police officer.

Warne, of Valley Road, Leiston, was caught when his black Volkswagen Lupo was stopped in Bluestem Road, Ipswich, on December 21. A breath test showed he had 75mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath

Meanwhile, Gavin Heaton, 26, of London Road, Ipswich, was banned for 22 months for having 51mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, and Rafael Martins, 39, of Byron Road, was disqualified for 12 months for having 47mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

They were stopped by officers in Ipswich on December 22 and December 23 respectively.

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A 51-year-old motorcyclist was rushed to hospital with a head injury after the helmet he was wearing came off during a crash in a Suffolk town today.

A 32-year-old man who was arrested after crashing his car in Ipswich has been charged with drink-driving.

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Among the crowd taking part in Sunday’s Great East Run was a special team of 91 white-vested fundraisers.

Too much screen time is affecting children’s emotional development - we asked people in Ipswich what they thought about the issue.

Relatives of Corrie McKeague have retraced his last known steps in Bury St Edmunds to mark the year anniversary of his disappearance.

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I spent my formative years in Burton on Trent, the brewing capital of the United Kingdom, writes John Norman

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