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Ipswich A14 drink-driver banned after being spotted standing on Orwell Bridge by police

PUBLISHED: 12:08 01 December 2016

The Drager Alcotest used by Suffolk Constabulary.

The Drager Alcotest used by Suffolk Constabulary.

A drink-driver has been banned from the road for 23 months after police saw him on the Orwell Bridge.

Andrew Cearns, of Elderberry Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court to driving when above the alcohol limit.

The 41-year-old committed the offence on October 17.

When he was breath-tested he had 90 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Prosecutor Colette Harper said shortly before 10.30pm a police officer was at the highest point on the Orwell Bridge when he noticed Cearns standing on the opposite carriageway appearing to look over the parapet.

The officer stopped his car, got out and approached Cearns.

When the Pc spoke to him Cearns said he was just looking over the edge.

The court was told Cearns smelled of alcohol and his balance was poor.

Cearns told the officer he was drunk and over the limit for driving.

Another police officer stopped at the Shell garage on the Felixstowe side of the Orwell Bridge and found Cearns’ Lexus.

Inside was a bottle of Blossom Hill wine which was one third full.

John Hughes, mitigating, said his client had been dealing with some personal issues.

He had bought the wine and had been cooking a meal while drinking from the bottle.

Cearns then decided to get in the car and drive.

Mr Hughes said although the it was accepted the breath test showed a 90mcgs reading Cearns’ alcohol level may not have been that high when he was driving.

However, Mr Hughes added: “He accepts he had been drinking alcohol before driving.”

The court was told the Felixstowe dock worker has addressed issues with his alcohol consumption.

In addition to his driving ban magistrates fined Cearns £460 and ordered him to pay £85 costs as well as £46 to the victims’ fund.

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