Father caught drink driving on Christmas Day was due to start work as cabbie

Pardeep Singh was sentenced at Suffolk Magistrates' Court in Ipswich Picture: GREGG BROWN

Pardeep Singh was sentenced at Suffolk Magistrates' Court in Ipswich Picture: GREGG BROWN

A father-of-four caught drink-driving on Christmas Day was due to start a new job as a taxi driver this month, a court heard.

Pardeep Singh, 33, of Heath Road, Ipswich, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Thursday and pleaded guilty to drink driving on December 25.

The court heard how police saw Singh struggle to negotiate a right-hand bend in a Volkswagen Touran along Colchester Road in Ipswich.

The vehicle was stopped by officers, who noticed that the woman in the passenger seat, Singh's wife, was trying to swap places with him in the driver's seat.

However, that proved to be unsuccessful and Singh admitted to officers that he had been driving the car and had panicked.

The court heard that two children were in the car when it was stopped by police.

Singh blew 57 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath at the roadside, but blew 61mcg in 100ml of breath at the police station.

The legal limit is 35mcg in 100ml of breath.

Andrew Cleal, defending, said the incident will have a "devastating" effect on Singh's life.

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"He is a man of good character and was fully cooperative with police at the roadside," Mr Cleal said.

"He is a local man who has previously worked as a market trader on Ipswich market. "This will have a devastating effect on his life at the moment as he had just re-trained to be a taxi driver.

"He got his licence and was due to start work this month.

"Since December 25, he has sent off around 100 job applications in the hope of finding work.

"He has four children and knows that he will be without his licence for a while."

District Judge Julie Cooper banned Singh from driving for 14 months.

He was also given a £150 fine and ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £32 victim surcharge.

District Judge Cooper gave Singh the opportunity to take a driver rehabilitation course which, if completed, means Singh could have his driving licence back by November 23.

Motorists guilty of a drink driving offence can be offered a rehabilitation course to reduce their ban within a certain time.

Drivers have to pay to take the course, which can cost up to £250.

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