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Drunk driver is tagged in curfew order

PUBLISHED: 14:35 01 August 2001 | UPDATED: 15:16 03 March 2010

A DRIVER who ran away from the police when they caught him drink-driving for the second time has escaped a jail sentence, but is to be tagged and forced to stay at home at night for six months.

A DRIVER who ran away from the police when they caught him drink-driving for the second time has escaped a jail sentence, but is to be tagged and forced to stay at home at night for six months.

Building worker Douglas Sandford, of The Blundens, Stoke-by-Nayland, had only recently completed consecutive bans for excess alcohol and driving while banned when police saw him driving with a faulty light in Sudbury.

Andrew Fitch-Holland, prosecuting, told the town magistrates that officers tried to stop the defendant, but he drove off, before abandoning his vehicle in East Street and running away. He was caught, and tests later showed he had consumed double the legal limit of alcohol.

Sandford, 25, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, failing to stop and having no insurance or licence.

The court put him on probation for a year and ordered him to undertake 100 hours community service, as well as imposing a tagging restriction, forcing him to obey a curfew keeping him at home from 7 pm to 6 am for six months.

He was also banned from driving for three and a half years, after which he will have to take a test, and fined £100 for failing to stop and £150 for no insurance.

Jamas Hodivala, mitigating, said Sandford, who was banned for three years in 1997 for excess alcohol and given a further two year ban in 1999 for driving while disqualified, had already taken action since the recent offences to have treatment for his drinking.

The night he had driven with excess alcohol he had been depressed from hearing his sister had terminal cancer, from which she had recently died. He lived at home, and helped care for his elderly parents. Prison would not help him overcome his deep-rooted drinking problem.

Bench chairman Colin Reeve said court penalties would include an order that Sandford continued to receive alcohol abuse rehabilitation treatment.

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