Court bans drink driver from the road

A DRINK-driver who took to the road while nearly four times the legal limit hours after an all-day booze binge is today banned from getting behind the wheel.

A DRINK-driver who took to the road while nearly four times the legal limit hours after an all-day booze binge is today banned from getting behind the wheel.

Christopher Rackham had spent around ten hours the previous day drinking beer and wine before leaving his Essex home and driving to Ipswich to visit his mother.

He was stopped by officers who spotted him driving erratically near Hawthorn Drive at 9am on July 15 and, when breathalysed, was found to have 130 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.

Rackham, who pleaded guilty to a charge of drink-driving at an earlier hearing, had arranged to visit his mother who is recovering from breast cancer.

Diana Infanti, mitigating at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Friday, said the 54-year-old father-of-one had been “shocked” at the high level of the reading.

Despite officers reporting that Rackham, of Queen Street, Southminster, was unsteady on his feet at the time of his arrest, Rackham claimed he had felt fine to drive.

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Mrs Infanti said: “He accepts over the last six to eight months his drinking has increased.

“But Mr Rackham has managed to decrease the amount he's been drinking and says he feels a lot better.”

She said the defendant, who has no previous convictions, had a high pressured job in the oil industry and had begun to drink excessively because he was unable to sleep.

Magistrates handed Rackham a 12-week suspended prison sentence, ordered him to carry out 80 hours unpaid work and banned him from driving for 32 months.

Are punishments for drink-driving stiff enough? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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