Ipswich: Lorry driver banned for being three times the legal drink-drive limit

A 63-year-old lorry driver has lost his job after being caught behind the wheel while more than three-and-a-half times the drink-drive limit.

Today, Michael Robinson, of Queensdale Close, Ipswich, is banned from driving for 30 months and must complete 100 hours unpaid work in the community.

Robinson pleaded guilty to driving his VW Golf on the morning of August 25 while above the legal alcohol limit, when he appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in Ipswich. Prosecutor Lesla Small told the court Robinson was pulled over by police making a routine stop at 11.40am.

A roadside breath test proved positive and a further breath test at Martlesham police investigation centre showed he had 129 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.

District Judge Celia Dawson was told Robinson had been off work for a week when he was caught.

The night before he had been to a dinner party and had consumed too much alcohol. Robinson had an appointment the following morning and decided to drive.

A spokeswoman for the Probation Service told the court Robinson was grateful nothing had happened while he was drink-driving and had resigned from his job. The court heard he had been a HGV driver for 40 years.

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In addition to his driving ban and community order, Robinson was ordered to pay �85 costs.

A second drink-driver caught on the same Bank Holiday Monday as Robinson is also paying the price.

Lech Sowala, of Freehold Road, Ipswich, was seen by police overtaking a car in Foxhall Road at 11.55am while driving his Renault Laguna.

A breath test showed he had 44 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

The 45-year-old told the court he had consumed two glasses of wine while with a friend. Sowala – who admitted drink-driving – said he had never before driven after drinking alcohol, and that he would probably lose his job as a result of the court case. He was given a 12-month driving ban and a �215 fine. He was also ordered to pay �85 costs and a �15 government surcharge.