Ipswich drink-driver blames baby shower Martini for putting him over limit

Drivers were over the legal drink-drive limit

Drivers were over the legal drink-drive limit - Credit: Simon Parker

Two drink-drivers have lost their licences after being caught behind the wheel while over the limit.

Helder Barbosa, of Fitzwilliam Close, Ipswich, pleaded guilty before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court to driving with excess alcohol.

A breath test showed the 53-year-old had 50 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Prosecutor Henny Tatum said a police officer saw a grey VW Golf at around 11.40pm on January 14, which was two cars ahead of him.

The driver of the VW slowed down, causing the vehicle behind him to brake sharply.

The police officer followed the VW, which was being driven by Barbosa, as it went through an amber traffic light at the Elm Street junction in Ipswich.

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The vehicle was stopped in Falcon Street.

Barbosa got out. The Portuguese national could only speak a little English, but the officer believed he was under the influence of alcohol.

A roadside breath test proved positive and Barbosa was arrested.

Barbosa, who listened to proceedings through an interpreter, told the court: “What can I say? I’m not the drinking type. I don’t drink.

“I went to a baby shower and had a bit of a Martini, but I don’t drink and you will never see me here again.

“I had a bit of bad luck on the day.”

Magistrates disqualified Barbosa from driving for 12 months and fined him £500.

He must also pay £85 costs and £50 to the victims’ fund.

In a separate hearing Finn McCormack, of Orchard Close, Rougham, was banned for 18 months after admitting drink-driving.

The 19-year-old had 65 mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath when he was stopped in Springfield Road, Bury St Edmunds, in a VW Golf on January 19.

The court heard CCTV operators had alerted police after believing he may be drink-driving.

McCormack, representing himself, told magistrates: “I’m extremely apologetic. I consider it extremely out of character.

“I have certainly learned my lesson and will not be doing so again.”

He was also fined £300 and ordered to pay £85 costs, as well as £30 to the victims’ fund.