Man caught drink driving at four-and-a-half times limit avoids jail

Jon Bullimore shields his face after leaving Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: ARCHANT

Jon Bullimore shields his face after leaving Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich man caught driving at nearly four-and-a-half times the legal limit for alcohol after travelling to Tesco to buy vodka has avoided prison.

Jon Bullimore, 38, of Ashley Street, Ipswich, blew 160 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath after driving a hired Seat Leon to Tesco in July this year. The legal limit is 35.

On Tuesday, magistrates in Ipswich heard that a witness saw Bullimore driving at Tesco at Ropes Drive in Kesgrave around 1pm on July 20 and notified the police.

Officers searched for the car and found it outside Bullimore's former home in Kesgrave.

When they entered, they saw empty containers of alcohol on the floor of the lounge.

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Bullimore was described by officers as swaying and smelling strongly of alcohol, the court heard.

He was breathalysed at his home and subsequently arrested before being taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre.

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In police interview, he admitted driving to the supermarket, buying a bottle of vodka and consuming it.

Magistrates heard Bullimore had one previous conviction for drink driving in September 2013 and was banned from driving for two years and made to undertake a rehabilitation programme.

Marcus Croskell, defending, said: "He lost his job in May 2019, and his wife left him a week before the incident due to his alcohol dependency.

"He admitted driving to Tesco, purchasing the bottle of vodka and consuming it.

"There might be an element of post incident consumption but he was breathalysed only 25 minutes after he was seen driving.

"It was clear he was alcohol dependent then."

Mr Croskell added that Bullimore self-referred himself to the Recovery Hub in Ipswich on August 5 for alcohol addiction treatment.

He completed a programme of treatment on September 2.

He has been volunteering at the Recovery Hub since completing the treatment programme, the court heard.

Magistrates sentenced Bullimore to 16 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and ordered him to undertake 25 Rehabilitation Activity (RA) days.

He was also banned from driving for five years and must pay court costs of £105 and a victim surcharge of £122.

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