Disqualified Ipswich drink-driver caught driving while over the limit again

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court, in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court, in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

A disqualified driver caught drink-driving for the second time a month before his original ban was due to run out has been given a suspended jail term.

Ipswich magistrates heard Nerijus Sipchenko was three times the drink-drive limit when he nipped out to fill up with petrol in a car he had only bought two days earlier.

The 27-year-old, of Chevalier Street, Ipswich, had been banned for 12 months and fined £175 on October 20 last year and was caught again on September 10.

The Lithuanian-national pleaded guilty at South East Magistrates’ Court to driving while disqualified, driving with excess alcohol, and having no insurance.

He was sentenced to a 12-week prison term, suspended for 18 months, and given a four-year disqualification from driving.

Sipchenko was also ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work within the next 12 months and must pay £85 costs, as well as £115 to the victims’ fund.

Prosecutor Wayne Ablett told the court when Sipchenko was banned last October he was offered the chance to go on a drink-driver rehabilitation course which would have shortened his original disqualification by three months.

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However, he failed to go on the course and therefore was still banned at the time of his latest offence.

At 11.30pm on September 10 police saw Sipchenko’s Vauxhall Astra being driven erratically along Norwich Road.

A breath test showed he had 105 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Sipchenko had bought the Astra two days earlier.

He told police he had been drinking brandy and admitted he was aware he was still disqualified.

Listening to proceedings through an interpreter Sipchenko heard his solicitor David Stewart tell the court: “It’s a serious matter and the defendant has no illusions about it.

“He brought a car to drive to his work. He drove a short distance to a petrol station to fill up.”

Magistrates heard Sipchenko had been in the UK for five years and was a father-of-one.

He works as a factory machinist in Ipswich.

After Mr Stewart’s mitigation the clerk of the court pointed out to magistrates that Sipchenko had a large amount of unpaid fines from previous cases, which included a conviction in February this year for battery and a public order offence.

In total the fines pending come to £680.