Drink-drive trucker banned

TRUCKER, Valentine Sowman, was banned from driving after admitting to drinking more than three times the legal limit of alcohol before taking to the road.

TRUCKER, Valentine Sowman, was banned from driving after admitting to drinking more than three times the legal limit of alcohol before taking to the road.

Sowman of Dombey Road, was still way over the legal limit to drive - the afternoon after he had got drunk at a wedding reception the night before.

The 62-year-old pleaded guilty to the offence and was sentenced at South East Suffolk Magistrates.

The incident happened on June 9 on the A14 at the junction with the A1120.


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Sowman, who was working at the time, was driving a heavy goods lorry after leaving his depot at around 3.15pm.

The court on Wednesday, heard how Sowman had been caught in a routine stop by police in the area. He was found to have a reading of 102 microgrammes of alcohol in breath. The legal limit is 35.

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He had been to a wedding reception the night before the incident where he admitted drinking a lot of alcohol. The court heard how he had simply not been aware that the next afternoon he would still be over the limit.

Tim Ridyard, defending, told the court that Sowman was extremely remorseful and that his driving career was now over.

"His career has come to an end and he has stated that he will never drive again. He has given away his car to a neighbour. During his 43-year career he has driven around 90,000 miles a year without any accidents.

"After his wife died he threw himself into work because there was not a lot else for him outside his job," he said.

In passing sentence, chairman of the bench Eric McCoy said: "We see that you have shown genuine remorse and that you are of good character. The aggravating features to this are that you had a very high reading and that you were in an HGV lorry."

Sowman, of Dombey Road, Ipswich was given a community punishment order. He was also disqualified for 30 months and ordered to pay £55 costs.

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