Caught driver backs Star campaign

A DRINK-DRIVER, who caused £4,500 damage in a spate of accidents, today said he wholeheartedly backed The Evening Star's recent name and shame campaign.

A DRINK-DRIVER, who caused £4,500 damage in a spate of accidents, today said he wholeheartedly backed The Evening Star's recent name and shame campaign.

Justin Hughes, of Pheasant Road, Ipswich, said: "I back your campaign. Drink-driving is something I totally disagree with."

The 28-year-old drove in Ipswich in the early hours of New Year's Day while way over the limit – and ended up crashing into a brick wall and damaging two parked cars.

He has now been banned from driving for 24 months, has to do a 100-hour community punishment order and pay £55 costs.

Hughes said he has now lost his job. He said he also suffered a broken collarbone, while his girlfriend hurt her hip, as a result of the accident.

He said he did not know why he drove.

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Hughes said: "Normally if I have a pint, I would walk home or catch a taxi. I had been in the pub celebrating the New Year. I drove down there and was going to get a taxi or walk back."

Asked how he feels now, he said: "I feel sick. I lost my job working for a cable TV contracting company. I have never been unemployed and I have been working since I was 15.

"It's caused a strain on my family, my friends, on everything. I live with my parents and, as you can imagine, they are not happy.

"I really regret it. I will never do it again and I never even want to come to court again. I have never come to court before."

Hughes was sentenced on Wednesday at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court, after admitting driving with excess alcohol in his system and failing to stop after an accident at an earlier hearing.

Gareth Davies, prosecuting, told the court on Wednesday that it was around 12.30am on New Year's Day when a cyclist saw the car Hughes was driving leave the road and collide with a brick wall at the junction of Christchurch Street and Woodbridge Road.

The court heard that Hughes continued up the road and went into the back of another car, which was in turn shunted into the back of a third vehicle.

Mr Davies said Hughes was arrested and breathalysed – and turned out to have 93mcg in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.

Speaking before the court, Hughes said: "It's totally out of character for me. I can't apologise enough for the incident that occurred on New Year's Day."

Chairman of the bench Patrick Oudkerk, sentencing, said the magistrates had taken into account Hughes' remorse, the fact that he had no previous motoring offences and that he was co-operative with the police.

Charges of having no insurance, no MOT and not driving in accordance with his licence were dropped.

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