Drink-driving menace banned

DRINK-driving menace John Higgins was speeding at up to 100mph when he was caught drunk behind the wheel for the second time in two months.Today, Higgins, of Orford Road, Tunstall, is banned from driving after admitting being nearly two and-a-half times the legal alcohol limit when he was stopped on the A12 at Martlesham.

SPEEDING drink-driver John Higgins is banned from the road today after being caught driving at up to 100mph while drunk.

The 21-year-old, who was more than twice the legal alcohol limit, was already disqualified from driving at the time because of another drink-drive offence two months earlier.

During the latest incident - which Higgins, of Orford Road, Tunstall, admitted - he was stopped after he jumped traffic lights on the A12 near Martlesham.

Ipswich magistrates heard he was awaiting sentencing at the time, after pleading guilty to the same charge for an offence on December 23 last year. On that occasion he was nearly three times the limit.

Prosecutor Lesla Small told Ipswich magistrates that two months later police in a marked car saw Higgins vehicle going through a red light at 11.15pm on February 25.

They pursued Higgins, who was driving on the Nacton-bound carriageway at speeds up to 100mph, the court heard.

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When the officers pulled him over, they smelled alcohol and took a roadside breath test which proved positive.

Higgins was taken to Woodbridge police station where another breathalyser gave a reading of 84 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 35 mcgs.

The court was told he had already pleaded guilty on December 30 to his previous offence.

Higgins had been arrested when he was in his car with four others at Cardinal Park at 2.05am on December 23.

Ms Small said police in an unmarked car spotted him reversing out of a parking space even though the passenger door was not closed.

When they went over to talk to him they smelled alcohol. At the time he told officers he was moving the car across the road to the old B&Q car park, which is now used for football parking.

However, he subsequently claimed he was only moving it a short distance to another car parking space.

A breathalyser showed he had 99 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

Mitigating for Higgins, Nicolas Kingsley said: “He accepts he has made woeful mistakes on two occasions. The second offence was committed over two months after the first and raises questions over what on earth was going through my client's mind. He apologises profusely to the court.”

Mr Kingsley pleaded with magistrates not to impose a custodial sentence and said Higgins, who was supported by his father in court, needs assistance with alcohol awareness.

Sentencing Higgins for both offences, Patrick Oudkerk, chairman of the bench, gave him a 12-month community order for 200 hours unpaid work and a three-year driving ban.

He also ordered Higgins to pay a total of £104 in prosecution costs.

N Has your life been blighted by drink-driving? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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