Drink-driver was more than four times limit while swigging alcohol driving into Ipswich car park

Drink drivers in court

Drink drivers in court - Credit: Archant

A drink-driver who was four-and-a-half times the legal limit when seen swigging alcohol while driving into an Ipswich car park has been spared jail.

Carl Stearn was given a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, after pleading guilty at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court to driving with excess alcohol.

The 49-year-old was arrested after pulling in to the Burger King car park at The Sandlings near Ransomes Europark on April 11.

Police were called shortly before 1.30pm by a member of the public who saw a man in a Jeep Cherokee driving into retail park. The witness reported seeing the man drinking at the time.

Officers arrived and arrested Stearn.

A subsequent breath test showed he had 157 microgrammes in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

In addition to his suspended prison sentence Stearn, of Forest View Road, Waltham Forest, east London, was disqualified from driving for 28 months.

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He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and £80 to the victims’ fund.

In a separate case a double drink-driver was banned from the road for three years after his car slid down an embankment while a police car headed towards it.

Thomas Gilligan, of The Street, Alderton, near Woodbridge, also pleaded guilty to drink driving.

The 25-year-old had previously been convicted of the same offence in November 2011 when he was disqualified from driving for 22 months.

His latest offence occurred at around 4.30am on March 8 in Wilford Bridge Road, Melton.

Police were responding to another incident when Gilligan’s VW Polo was seen coming from the other direction.

It then left the road and slid down an embankment. Gilligan managed to get himself out of the car.

Subsequently a sample of his blood was taken which showed he had 152 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80mlgs.

As well as being given a driving ban Gilligan was fined £500 and ordered to pay £85 costs as well as £50 to the victims’ fund.