Ipswich/Woodbridge: Drink-driving soldier banned after turning himself into police

IPSWICH/WOODBRIDGE: A drink-driving soldier is banned from the road today after crashing his car into a lamppost and then calling police to confess.

Honest Daniel Learmont, who is based at Rock Barracks in Woodbridge, was more than three times the drink-drive limit after returning from a night out in Ipswich.

The 19-year-old admitted driving with excess alcohol when he appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court.

Wayne Ablett, prosecuting, said Learmont’s Vauxhall Astra crashed into the lamppost in Budgen’s car park in Woodbridge on February 17.

The military engineer telephoned police and waited at the scene until officers arrived.

Mr Ablett told the court: “He immediately said ‘I’m not going to lie. I have been drinking’.”

Learmont told officers after being dropped off following a night out he believed he had been sober enough to drive back to his barracks.

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However, a subsequent breath test showed he had 107 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 mcgs.

Peter Barlex, mitigating, said his client had been “extremely honest that day”.

He added: “He went out with others in a minibus to Ipswich, got the minibus back and felt okay to drive.”

However, when Learmont did so he immediately crashed his car at around 4.30am.

The court heard the teenager has had to explain himself to senior officers which had been difficult in itself.

Sentencing Learmont, of Craigs Drive, Dumfries, Scotland, District Judge David Cooper said: “He confessed all. In many ways you couldn’t ask for more.”

Learmont was disqualified from driving for two years, fined �585 and ordered to pay �85 costs, along with a �15 government surcharge.

n What do you think of Learmont’s honesty? E-mail starletters@archant.co.uk or write to Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.