Drink-drive solicitor fell asleep on A12

A drink-driving solicitor who stopped his car and fell asleep on the A12 after driving erratically is banned from the road today.

IPSWICH: A drink-driving solicitor who stopped his car and fell asleep on the A12 after driving erratically is banned from the road today.

Oliver Holmes, of Constable Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to drink-driving at nearly twice the legal limit for at least nine miles, when he appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court.

Prosecutor Lesla Small said police were called by another motorist at around 11pm on September 8, who began following Holmes' Audi along the A12 from Colchester after becoming concerned about the 52-year-old's driving.

The court heard Holmes' car was swerving towards the kerb and between lanes as it travelled at speeds of between just three miles per hour and 80mph.

At one point the Audi stopped completely for between 30 and 40 seconds.

The witness was so worried about safety that he put his hazard warning lights on as he continued to trail Holmes along the dual carriageway.

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Ms Small said two other drivers also saw the Audi swerving and took evasive action by deciding not to overtake the vehicle.

When Holmes stopped his Audi again at Capel St Mary, the man following him got out of his vehicle and approached the car, finding Holmes slumped over the steering wheel smelling of alcohol.

The man managed to take the keys from the vehicle and when the solicitor was roused he got out and started walking off down the A12.

A blood sample taken at Ipswich police station after his arrest revealed Holmes had 154 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80mlgs.

Holmes, who had been drinking after work, said he could not recall driving because he was intoxicated.

Holmes, representing himself, told magistrates: “I am sorry. I very much regret what happened. I should have known better.

“I believe I was very tired which contributed to it. At the time I thought I was ok and I wasn't.”

Magistrates banned Holmes from driving for 18 months, fined him �750 and ordered him to pay �85 costs as well as a �15 victim surcharge.

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