Drink-drive restaurant worker swerved around Norwich Road in Ipswich, court told

Inspector Julian Ditcham breath tests a motorist.

Inspector Julian Ditcham breath tests a motorist.

A drink-driver who was more than twice the limit when asked by a friend to drive her car home has lost his licence.

Restaurant worker Ilham Sahinoglu, of Lower Street, Sproughton, swerved around Norwich Road in Ipswich and only just avoid parked cars, South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court heard.

The 34-year-old pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

At the time of the offence, which occurred in the early hours of March 13, Sahinoglu had 76 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Prosecutor Colette Harper said police received a report of a Mercedes which had been seen driving in an erratic manner.

The call came from an ambulance crew.

The car was accelerating and braking, as well as swerving around the road. It narrowly avoided parked cars and the kerb.

Most Read

The Mercedes was then seen to go into the Shell petrol station near Whitehouse Road.

There Sahinoglu, who had been driving, swapped seats with a female.

The court was told the ambulance crew continued to follow the vehicle when ended up going into McDonald’s restaurant where police caught up with it.

When Sahinoglu was breath-tested it showed he was more than twice the legal limit.

In his police interview he admitted swapping seats and showed remorse for what he had done.

Sahinoglu, representing himself, told magistrates he had gone out with a colleague for a drink, and consumed two pints of beer and some shots.

His colleague did not feel well and as they approached her car she asked him if he could drive her home.

He pulled over at the petrol station because he realised he was not fit to drive.

Sahinoglu said: “I regret what I have done and I apologise for my unreasonable behaviour and can only ask for your kind forgiveness.

“I don’t drink alcohol very often and when I do I don’t drink much. Please consider this to be a life-changing event that has taught me a great deal for the future.”

Magistrates banned Sahinoglu from driving for 20 months and ordered him to pay a total of £93 in costs, a victim surcharge and a fine.