Drink-drive grandad banned

A GRANDFATHER who narrowly avoided smashing into a police car while drunk at the wheel has been banned from driving for three years.

Tom Potter

A GRANDFATHER who narrowly avoided smashing into a police car while drunk at the wheel has been banned from driving for three years.

Ventura Pilo Bem, 52, appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court yesterday to hear his sentence after pleading guilty to driving at more than three times the legal limit.

Magistrates told Pilo Bem he had come within a hair's breadth of going to prison and was also ordered to carry out 200 hour community service as well as being subjected to a three month curfew during which time he must not leave his house at night.


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As revealed in The Evening Star last month, a police car was forced to swerve out of the factory worker's way as he changed lanes approaching a roundabout in Civic Drive, Ipswich.

Pilo Bem, who lives in Abingdon Close, Ipswich, who had been drinking at a bar to celebrate the birth of his grandchild, was pulled over and arrested for drink-driving for the second time in four years.

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The Portugese national was found to have 116 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit being 35mcg.

He had pleaded guilty to drink driving and driving without a licence at a hearing in October.

At the time, Ann Parry, chairman of the magistrates disqualified Pilo Bem from driving and said: “The aggravating features are that you had a previous conviction in 2004, there was a very high reading in your breath and at the time of the incident the police car had to swerve as there could have been an accident.”

Pilo Bem, who has lived in the country with his wife for six years, was accompanied by an interpreter as magistrates handed him his sentence yesterday.

He was also told to pay £65 court costs.

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