Chef banned from the road

A CHEF has been banned from the road for a year today after being caught drink-driving in Ipswich.Raul Lopes, 29, was stopped by police in Duke Street, Ipswich, on September 10 in his Vauxhall Astra after driving erratically.

A CHEF has been banned from the road for a year today after being caught drink-driving in Ipswich.

Raul Lopes, 29, was stopped by police in Duke Street, Ipswich, on September 10 in his Vauxhall Astra after driving erratically.

When breathalysed it was found the Portuguese national was twice the legal limit, registering 79 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard that Lopes, who is married with a five-year-old daughter, is a chef for 'Ask' chain restaurants in East Anglia and travels more than 27,000 miles a year to train other chefs in the region.


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Lopes, of Sudbury, claimed he had been invited to a party after work and intended to get a lift home with friends.

He later decided to drive himself home after receiving a call from his wife who had become anxious.

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Lopes pleaded guilty to drink driving.

John Hughes, mitigating, said: “He accepts it wasn't an emergency and he admits he made the wrong decision to drive home.”

Lopes was disqualified from driving for 12 months.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £567 in fines and court costs.

Two other charges of driving without insurance and driving without a licence were dismissed after he produced the relevant documents in court.

District Judge David Cooper said: “Do not drive until you are legally allowed, whatever you do.”

Have you been affected by a drink driver? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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