Drink-driving Woodbridge architect Dominic Goldfinger banned for being three times the limit

Julian Ditcham with the Drager Alcotest used by Suffolk Constabulary. Pic Archant

Julian Ditcham with the Drager Alcotest used by Suffolk Constabulary. Pic Archant

An architect who was three times the limit when caught drink-driving has been banned from the road for two years.

Dominic Goldfinger, of Castle Street, Woodbridge, pleaded guilty before Ipswich magistrates to driving with excess alcohol on December 13.

Goldfinger, who had his 49th birthday two days before the offence, had been driving a Nissan Micra in Main Road, Martlesham.

Prosecutor Colette Harper said at around 10pm a witness had seen Goldfinger walking around his Nissan, which was parked at the side of the road.

The witness believed the car may have been in an accident and saw Goldfinger stumbling around and heard him slur “I’m sorry”.

Goldfinger drove the Micra a short distance before the witness opened the driver’s door and took the keys.

Goldfinger then walked away. After a short search he was tracked by a police dog to a small area of woodland.

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The court heard Goldfinger was unsteady on his feet, slurring his words and smelled of alcohol.

A subsequent breath test showed he had 104 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Magistrates were told Goldfinger had a previous drink-drive-related conviction in Spain in 2004.

Hugh Rowland, representing Goldfinger, said his client had been at home and had what turned out to be a relationship-terminating argument with his then partner.

He had been in a state of “high upset” and decided to drive to see his father in a neighbouring village. Goldfinger had not driven far when the car broke down due to problems with the clutch.

Mr Rowland said: “He was in a very emotional state. It’s not his habit to drive while intoxicated at all.”

The court was told Goldfinger’s little dog had been in the Nissan before running all the way home.

Goldfinger was said to be remorseful, ashamed and apologetic about his actions.

Mr Rowland added: “These are not the standards he sets for himself, both in terms of his professional life and his personal life. He spent 16 hours in custody.

“He feels very strongly (that) he’s let himself down.”

The court was told that not being able to drive now is going to be a substantial penalty in itself for Goldfinger.

In addition to Goldfinger’s driving ban, magistrates fined him £500 and ordered him to pay £85 costs as well as £50 to the victims’ fund.