Drink drive councillor banned

A COUNTY councillor is banned from driving today after crashing his car into a skip while more than three times the legal alcohol limit.Steven Hudson, of Westerfield Lane, Tuddenham St Martin, is the first person to be named and shamed as part of The Evening Star's Christmas campaign against drink-drivers.

A COUNTY councillor is banned from driving today after crashing his car into a skip while more than three times the legal alcohol limit.

Steven Hudson, of Westerfield Lane, Tuddenham St Martin, is the first person to be named and shamed as part of The Evening Star's Christmas campaign against drink-drivers.

The 53-year-old pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol when he appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court in Ipswich.

Prosecutor Lesla Small told the court a police officer had been sent to a crash involving Hudson's Mercedes in Tuddenham Road, Ipswich, at about 6.15pm on November 22.

After Hudson was treated by a paramedic, the officer interviewed him about the accident.

Magistrates heard Hudson said he had been driving his car towards the town centre when he tried to avoid another vehicle coming in the opposite direction but ended up colliding with a skip.

Most Read

The police officer believed the Conservative councillor for Kesgrave and Rushmere St Andrew had been drinking and gave him a roadside breath test which was positive.

Hudson was then taken to Ipswich police station and tested again. The court heard the lowest reading of the two tests he was given at the station was 107 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 mcgs.

Ms Small said the archaeologist told police he had consumed two pints of ale between 1pm and 2.15pm that day after meeting a friend in Hasketon, before driving home.

Later, he left his home to drive into Ipswich to pick his partner up from Suffolk College, when he saw a vehicle coming towards him which appeared to be in the middle of the road.

The court heard Hudson braked to avoid it but collided with the skip.

Representing himself, Hudson handed a letter in to magistrates in mitigation.

In the letter, which was read out by the clerk of the court, Hudson said he wanted to apologise unreservedly for his actions, which were unintended. He said he had felt under pressure for a few weeks leading up to the crash.

He had been drinking the night before while he spent the evening talking with his fiancée. The following day Hudson said he had had joined an acquaintance for a drink at 2pm, but he had not eaten at all.

In his statement he called his behaviour 'untypical'. He added he and his fiancée were still in a state of shock over the incident.

The court heard he had no previous convictions and had never been in an accident before.

Sentencing Hudson, chairman of the bench Kate Redmond described his breath test as “an extremely high reading”, before disqualifying him for 28 months.

Hudson was also fined £500 and ordered to pay £34 costs. He indicated he would take up the option of going on a driving rehabilitation course which, once it was completed, would lessen his sentence by seven months.

After the case Hudson warned other motorists about the dangers of driving after drinking alcohol.

He said: “They should be careful. It's quite amazing how easily it's done. No matter how careful you are sometimes these things happen.

“I felt fine. I was probably naïve. I didn't expect to be arrested. I was totally surprised.”

Jeremy Pembroke, leader of Suffolk County Council, said: “I am very disappointed with this matter. I have spoken to him, he accepts his punishment. I hope he will learn from this mistake and move forward.”

N The Evening Star pledges to name and shame all drink drivers who appear before Ipswich magistrates after being caught during the Christmas and New Year period, as part of its anti drink-drive campaign.

N Do you know someone whose life has 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.