Jail for three times drink drive man
A ROAD safety group today criticised an Ipswich court after a man was jailed for just 16 weeks despite being caught drink-driving three times in 18 months.
A ROAD safety group today criticised an Ipswich court after a Polish man was jailed for just 16 weeks despite being caught drink-driving three times in 18 months.
Charity Brake claimed the prison term handed to repeat offender Adam Kaminski was little more than “a slap on the wrists”.
His conviction came as the chief constable of a neighbouring force warned that some Eastern European visitors viewed drink-driving in the same way as this country did 20 years ago.
South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard how the offence was also Kaminski's second driving while disqualified conviction in a year-and-a-half.
Today Dianne Ferreira, from Brake, leveled a stinging blast at magistrates for failing to punish Kaminski with a stiffer sentence.
She said: “Brake is appalled that this driver, who has repeatedly committed the very dangerous offence of drink-driving, and driving while banned, has been punished with little more than a slap on the wrists.
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“This driver will be out of prison in a matter of weeks, which sends out completely the wrong message.”
Kaminski, who lives at a caravan park in Great Wenham but has a postal address in Foxhall Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol when 42 micrograms of alcohol were discovered in 100 millilitres of his breath.
The legal limit is 35 micrograms.
The 31-year-old also admitted driving while disqualified and to not having motor insurance.
He told police he had drunk a couple of beers before driving his Volvo car a short distance to his friends in Elliot Street, Ipswich.
Roger Stewart, mitigating, said his client was only “marginally” over the drink drive limit on this occasion.
He said Kaminski worked in Cambridge and his friend drove them there in Kaminski's Volvo.
He added that the defendant sent £70 of his £170 weekly earnings to his wife and children in Poland.
But Gareth Davies, prosecuting, described the defendant's record as “appalling”.
He said Kaminski was given a suspended sentence in October 2006 and the orders were breached on two occasions.
On May 14 he was sentenced to eight weeks in prison.
Magistrates said the offences were “so serious” that prison was the only option.
Kaminski was jailed for a total of 16 weeks and he was disqualified from driving for three years.
The Volvo was confiscated by the court to prevent further offending.
What do you think of the sentence handed to Kaminski? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail email@example.com
KAMINSKI'S conviction came as Julie Spence, chief constable of Cambridgeshire, today warned that a rapid increase in the number of European migrant workers had changed the face of her county over the last four years.
She said a small minority were causing serious problems for the police - and drink-driving was a particular problem in the county.
She said: “There is a cultural difference with the way some people from Europe see this offence. They have the same kind of attitude we used to see in this country 20 years ago.”
Mrs Spence is appealing to the government for extra funds for her force - and estimates Cambridgeshire spends £1 million a year on interpreters to deal with Eastern European offenders.
She added: “The vast majority of migrant workers cause no problems at all and are vital to the economic boom that we have seen in this area over the last few years.
“But there are cultural problems and when people from other countries are involved it takes officers about three times as long to deal with each case.”
Suffolk police today said they were working to educate foreign nationals on the importance of road safety.
Inspector Trevor Sharman, from Suffolk police's roads policing unit, said: “In April or May we recognised there was a lack of information available to some of the ethnic minority groups.
“So with Suffolk County Council's Road Safety Partnership, we printed leaflets setting out the basics in five different languages - Polish, Russian, Lithuanian, Kurdish and Portuguese.
“It's quite a basic design in a credit card size with symbols and some information on what happens if you commit the offence.
“We have tried to broach the education side of this.
“Although the drink-drive limits may be different in other countries, it's still an offence. I don't fully accept an ignorance of the law as an excuse.
“But if there's anyway we can push the message we will, and if the community has any questions they can contact us.”