Drink driver lucky to be spared jail

A DRINK driver who was more than three times the legal limit and only narrowly avoided smashing into other cars has been spared jail.Today, James McGinley is a relieved man after Ipswich magistrates told him he was lucky not to be behind bars after he admitted driving when drunk.

A DRINK driver who was more than three times the legal limit and only narrowly avoided smashing into other cars has been spared jail.

Today, James McGinley is a relieved man after Ipswich magistrates told him he was lucky not to be behind bars after he admitted driving when drunk.

The court heard McGinley, of Scopes Road, Kesgrave, was caught at the end of a three-day drinking binge which started when he discovered he had lost his job and might be forced to leave his home.

On July 2 at about 8.30pm an off-duty police officer spotted a Blue BMW, driven by 56-year-old McGinley, travelling towards Tuddenham Road.

The officer followed the car and saw it turn into Colchester Road and travel towards Kesgrave.

Magistrates were told McGinley was driving erratically and at one point went completely over to the other side of the road, forcing the oncoming traffic to slow down to avoid a collision.

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McGinley finally stopped at The Bell Inn, Main Road, Kesgrave, but his speech was slurred and he was staggering so much that the officer who had been pursuing him needed to help him stand upright.

A breath test was then conducted and McGinley was found to have 112 microgrammes in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg in 100ml of breath.

Mark Holt, mitigating, told the court: “He accepts it was a horrendous piece of driving.

“There was a 14-year period of abstinence that ended three years ago when his marriage came to an end.”

Mr Holt said that McGinley now intended to abstain from alcohol again.

McGinley was told by magistrates: “You were well over the legal limit. You're lucky not to be looking at a prison sentence.”

McGinley was given an 18-month supervision order and ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work as well as being banned from driving for three years when he appeared in court.

But he was warned that if he breached any of the conditions he would be likely to be sent to prison.

Weblink: www.thinkroadsafety.gov.uk

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