Driver of car with two blown tyres was more than twice alcohol limit

Nicholas Wheeler apologised to the court, police and public for drink-driving Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Nicholas Wheeler apologised to the court, police and public for drink-driving Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich man who drove his car with two punctured tyres while more than twice the legal alcohol limit has been banned from the road for 18 months.

Nicholas Wheeler asked for the public to forgive him for driving along an Ipswich road with 88 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit being 35mcgs.

The 27-year-old, of Wykes Bishop Street, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Monday to admit drink-driving and using a vehicle in a condition likely to cause danger on April 13.

Prosecutor David Bryant said police saw Wheeler's Ford Focus being driven at an inconsistent speed and swerving along Grafton Way at about 1.15am.

"The officer also noticed a large amount of smoke coming from the vehicle," added Mr Bryant.

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Wheeler's car was pulled over at Cardinal Park and found to have considerable damage to both offside tyres.

"The front tyre was completely flat and being driven on the alloy," said Mr Bryant.

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"The rear tyre was almost in the same condition.

"The driver presented as intoxicated and was observed to have slurred speech."

Wheeler was arrested after providing a positive roadside breath test. Of two evidential samples provided at the police station, the lowest reading was 88mcg - more than twice the limit.

In court, Wheeler read from a prepared statement, which said: "I would like to express my sincere apologies to the court, police and general public."

He offered no excuses for drink-driving, which he said was "completely out of character", adding his "deep shame" for the offence.

Wheeler told magistrates he had not been acting rationally, and had been using alcohol as a coping mechanism for mental health issues at the time.

"I now realise this was not a suitable solution," he added, explaining he had since sought help.

In terms of the damage to his car, Wheeler said the clutch had burned out, causing the offside tyres to hit a kerb.

"I can only hope the court and the public can forgive me," he concluded.

Magistrates said they appreciated his frankness and had taken into account his prompt guilty plea.

He was banned from driving for 18 months and fined £490.

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