Ban after cigarette need

A DRINK-driver from Ipswich today apologised after he was caught over the limit while going out to get cigarettes.

A DRINK-driver from Ipswich today apologised after he was caught over the limit while going out to get cigarettes.

Paul Curtis, of Worcester Road, was found to be nearly twice the legal amount after being stopped at the Shell garage in London Road.

Magistrates in Ipswich were told that an off-duty police officer noticed the way Curtis was driving along London Road at around 4am on August 25 and alerted his on-duty colleagues.

When he was stopped officers noticed that the 30-year-old smelled of alcohol and a breath test confirmed he had 62microgrammes of alcohol per 100mililitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Prosecutor Lesla Small said: “The off-duty police officer was driving in London Road when he noticed a red Peugeot due to the manner the vehicle was being driven. Officers noticed he smelled of intoxicating liquor.”

Speaking at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court, Curtis said: “That evening I had been out with my friends and did not drink.

Most Read

“It was only when we went back to my house that I had a few drinks because I didn't think I would be driving anymore.

“At about 4am we went out for cigarettes. I had had a couple of drinks and that clouded my judgement. I didn't think I was over the limit. I am very remorseful and I can only apologise.”

Curtis was disqualified from driving for 18 months, but has the chance to reduce this by four months if he completes a drink-driver's rehabilitation course.

He was also fined £225 and told to pay court costs of £65 and a victim surcharge of £15.

Are drink-driving punishments severe enough? Is it a good idea to offer drink-drivers a rehabilitation course? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk