Drink drivers start long bans

TWO repeat offenders are today starting long bans from the roads after admitting serious drink-driving offences.Arvydas Laurjnajtjs was driving a Ford Mondeo in Ipswich at 2.

TWO repeat offenders are today starting long bans from the roads after admitting serious drink-driving offences.

Arvydas Laurjnajtjs was driving a Ford Mondeo in Ipswich at 2.30pm on a Saturday afternoon earlier this month, just months after being banned from the roads.

The following day Colin Paternoster was caught driving while almost twice the legal limit of alcohol in his breath - the third time he has committed the offence.

Lesla Small, prosecuting at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court, said Laurjnajtjs, 40, of Orwell Road, Ipswich, had 104 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, when he was stopped by police in Bramford Road on February 2 this year. The legal limit is 35 micrograms of alcohol.

He pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, driving while disqualified with driving with no insurance.

The court heard that on August 3 last year he was disqualified from driving for two years for drink driving.

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Laurjnajtjs told the court: “I received a telephone call from home so was under stress due to the misfortunes of my two daughters.”

He said he had been living in England for nearly a year and was a factory worker sending £100 a month to his ex-wife in Lithuania for his two daughters.

District Judge David Cooper sentenced Laurjnajtjs to 12 weeks in prison but suspended the term for a year.

He ordered him not to enter any pubs or clubs in Ipswich Town centre for a year.

Laurjnajtjs was disqualified from driving for five years because of “the extremely high reading and previous convictions”. He was warned that any breach would end in prison.

Paternoster was discovered driving his Ford Escort when he was more than twice over the legal limit. It was the third time he has been convicted of the offence.

The 46-year-old of Girton Close, Woodbridge, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol on February 3 this year.

Ms Small, who also prosecuted him, said Paternoster had 73 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 micrograms of alcohol.

The court heard that the defendant was disqualified from driving for 12 months in 1991 and then for three years in 1999 for drink driving.

Paternoster's employer sent a letter to the court stating that he had been “an excellent worker”.

Paternoster said: “I'm prepared to pay a heavy fine and go on a rehabilitation course to shorten my ban. If the ban is too long I will lose my job and I'm not going to get another at my age.”

Judge Cooper said Paternoster had been “depressingly irresponsible” but had a good work record.

He fined him £750 and told him to pay £80 costs.

Paternoster was banned for the minimum of three years but was told that could be reduced by nine months if he completed the rehabilitation course.

He added that if Paternoster applied to the court to get his licence back after two years the early request for his license would be looked upon “quite sympathetically”.