Ipswich man found slumped over car steering wheel while nearly three times limit is spared ban

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

A driver who was three times the drink-drive limit when police found him asleep slumped over the wheel of his car has been spared a ban.

Ipswich magistrates heard it took officers between three and four minutes to rouse Scott Woodward in Falcon Street, Ipswich at 3.30am on September 10.

The 22-year-old, of Swinburne Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court to being drunk in charge of a vehicle.

At the time he was in a Vauxhall Astra.

A subsequent breath test showed he had 104 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Prosecutor Wayne Ablett told the court: “He perhaps may consider himself fortunate to be only facing a drunk in charge matter.”

He was caught when police drove past Silent Street and saw the Vauxhall Astra.

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Woodward was sitting slumped over the steering wheel asleep and the vehicle’s lights were on.

Mr Ablett said police were banging on the window and it took them three or four minutes to wake him up.

Woodward was holding the car keys and attempted to start the vehicle, but failed to put the keys in the ignition.

The court heard he told officers: “I know I will be over the limit.”

Woodward said he had been to a friend’s address before going into town and consuming alcohol.

After that his memory had become vague.

Mr Ablett said Woodward had no previous convictions.

David Stewart, representing Woodward, said his client was a refrigeration engineer and his job relied on him having a driving licence.

Any disqualification would result in Woodward losing his job.

Mr Stewart added: “I would ask you consider imposing 10 points.

“He was disarmingly frank in interview, accepting he had drunk a lot and it took some time for police to rouse him

“Officers particularly noted he was very apologetic, and that he was remorseful and shocked.

“He’s appalled at his behaviour.”

Magistrates agreed not to ban Woodward. They accepted he was remorseful and was previously of good character.

His licence was endorsed with 10 penalty points and he was fined £400.

Woodward must also pay £85 costs and £40 to the victims’ fund.