Ipswich: Drink-driver avoids jail after overturning vehicle while four times legal limit

IPSWICH: A recovering alcoholic had to be cut out of a vehicle he overturned on a busy Ipswich road while more than four times the legal drink drive limit, a court heard.

Brian McCarthy, of Dereham Avenue, appeared for sentence at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court yesterday after pleading guilty to drink driving at a previous hearing.

The court heard McCarthy had 341 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

Prosecuting solicitor Lesla Small told the court that McCarthy, 56, was driving along Felixstowe Road at 6.30pm on November 4, 2010. Miss Small said McCarthy struck a parked car before the Ford Focus he was driving overturned.

The court heard no one was injured but members of the public noticed a strong smell of alcohol coming from the vehicle as they waited for emergency services to attend the scene.

Miss Small said McCarthy said in police interview that he remembered nothing of the incident and denied drinking alcohol that day. The court heard he was genuinely sorry for his actions and accepted the incident could have killed someone.

Mitigating for McCarthy, John Hughes said his client now accepted he must have been drinking on the day of the incident. He added: “He is eternally grateful there was no one else on the street at the time.”

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The court heard McCarthy is a recovering alcoholic with a number of health problems who took to drink following the death of his sister 14 years ago. Chairman of the bench, Christopher Bowles, said: “We have taken on board all the mitigation said on your behalf.

“We sentence you to 18 weeks in custody suspended for a period of two years.”

Magistrates also banned McCarthy from entering any licensed premises which sells alcohol on or off the premises for a period of 12 months unless he is accompanied by another adult.

He was also banned from driving for 36 months and until a driving re-test has been taken.

He was ordered to pay court costs of �85.