Car wash worker was caught drink-driving by paramedic, court told

Drink driver in court

Drink driver in court - Credit: Archant

A car wash worker has been banned from the road after being caught drink-driving by a paramedic.

Viorel Gradinariu pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in Woodbridge Road East, Ipswich, when he appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court.

The 26-year-old was more than twice the legal limit when he was breathalysed.

He also pleaded guilty to driving without insurance and not having a valid driving licence.

Although it was said in court that Gradinariu lives at the car wash where he works his address was not given.

Prosecutor Colette Harper said the incident occurred at 12.05am on May 21 on the road from Kesgrave to Ipswich.

An ambulance driver was dazzled by the lights of an oncoming Vauxhall Astra.

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As the car approached it suddenly did a u-turn and drove off in front of the ambulance.

The paramedic reported the Astra was being driven erratically, slowing and speeding up for no apparent reason.

The court heard it also swerved all over the road, driving over the white lines separating the carriageways.

When the car got to Ipswich Hospital it turned right into a hospital service road where it stopped.

The medic went to the driver’s door and asked Gradinariu if he was ok, but there was no reply.

The ambulance driver opened the door and took the keys out of the ignition.

Mrs Harper said Gradinariu looked at the medic with glazed eyes he smelled strongly of alcohol.

Police were called. A subsequent breath test showed Gradinariu had 72 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Gradinariu came to England a month before the offence and the court heard he told police a colleague at the car wash had offered him beer which they drank. Before Gradinariu started work he was said to have driven a friend to work after the colleague had asked him if could drive his car.

Mrs Harper said neither man had a driving licence, although Gradinariu claimed to have got his Romanian driving licence three months earlier.

Through a Romanian interpreter Gradinariu, representing himself, said he had been driving from one car wash to another and added that all the paperwork for his driving licence was in the Astra impounded by police.

He was disqualified from driving for 20 months and ordered to pay £535 in fines, costs and a victim surcharge.

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