Christmas drinker banned from the road

A DRINK-driver is banned from the road today after getting drunk at a Christmas party and taking to the wheel.

Tom Potter

A DRINK-driver is banned from the road today after getting drunk at a Christmas party and taking to the wheel.

Clive Vinyard, whose work with heavy machinery requires him to not drink in excess, has been ordered to carry out community service after being caught three times the limit behind the wheel of his car.

He was discovered behind the wheel of his Mercedes, in Stone Street, Hadleigh, on Saturday, December 20.

The 50-year-old, of Newberry Road, Bildeston, could not escape being named and shamed in The Evening Star's campaign against dangerous drink-drivers when he appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Wednesday .

The court heard how the businessman had thrown a work's Christmas bash and had been partying with employees until the early hours of the morning.

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Vinyard was the last to leave the party and, when he was unable to book a taxi home, decided instead to return by car. After a short distance, he pulled to the side of the road and was spotted with his engine still running by a passing police car at 1.20am.

Vinyard failed a roadside breath test and was taken to Ipswich police station where another breathalyser reading indicated he had 109micrograms of alcohol per 100millilitres of breath. The legal limit being 35mcg per 100ml.

He pleaded guilty to driving while over the legal alcohol limit and said in court: “The only thing I can say is that I am sorry.

“I had sent all the staff home in taxis and had ordered on for myself but was told it would take two-and-a-half hours to arrive. It was just so late and I knew I had to get to work in the morning so I went to drive home.

“I pulled over and left the engine running to keep warm. I'm sorry.”

Vinyard was ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work over the next 12 months and given a �35 bill in court costs. He was also banned from driving for 24 months and given the chance to reduce the ban by 6 months upon completion of a drink-driver rehabilitation course.

Are drink-drive laws tough enough? 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.

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