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Learner driver over the limit

PUBLISHED: 17:02 07 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:08 03 March 2010

FOUR motorists have appeared in court charged with drink-driving - and one had not even passed his driving test.

Learner driver Jonathon Schutt decided to drive despite being nearly three-times over the limit.

FOUR motorists have appeared in court charged with drink-driving – and one had not even passed his driving test.

Learner driver Jonathon Schutt decided to drive despite being nearly three-times over the limit.

Now the 21-year-old will have to wait before taking to the road again after receiving a lengthy two-year disqualification.

Schutt is the latest to be named and shamed in the Star's Christmas anti-drink-drive campaign that runs until the end of this month.

Schutt was stopped by police in Cliff Road, Felixstowe, as he made his way back to his Bury Road home in a Peugeot car late at around 11pm on December 28. He was found to have 97mcg in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 38mcg.

He told South East Suffolk magistrates that he got behind the wheel of a pal's car because the owner was too drunk to drive. He pleaded guilty to all charges at Ipswich magistrates.

"It was either me or him driving," Schutt told the court. "I mistakenly assumed that I was more in control than he was."

Sentencing, chairman of the bench Mrs Jacqueline Holmes said that Schutt had given "a very high reading". In addition to his driving ban, he was fined a total of £250 and ordered to pay £118 costs.

Father-of-four Satman Singh is another driver waking up to a ban after being caught drunk behind the wheel.

Police stopped his Nissan Primera in Westerfield Road, Ipswich, in the early hours of New Year's Eve after having "a little drink with his cousin", the court heard.

He was found to have 54mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath and admitted drink-driving.

Mitigating, Neil Saunders told magistrates that the incident would cost Singh disqualification "but it would cost his family more."

Singh, a shift-worker, would experience difficulty in getting to work on public transport at unsociable times of the day, the court heard. His wife and four children depended on him – as did his diabetic father, who is partially-sighted and deaf.

But magistrates had little choice other than ban him for a year – and ordered him to pay a total of £195 in fines and costs.

Ipswich man Lee Nicholas starts the year with a two-month jail sentence after crashing his car while drunk. He had ignored people's advice not to drive and crashed into a van on November 30.

Police stopped Nicholas in Hossack Road where a breath test showed he was more than three times over the limit. He had 113 mcg alcohol in 100 ml of breath. The legal limit is 35 mcg.

In sentencing magistrates told Nicholas: "You had a very high reading. Your drove very dangerously and had a collision. The mitigating feature of the offence is that no one was injured."

Nicholas, of Orchard Close, admitted drink driving, using a vehicle without insurance, not having a test certificate and driving otherwise in accordance with a driving licence on November 30.

The 23-year-old also pleaded guilty in court to not surrendering to custody on December 5.

In sentencing magistrates took all the offences as a whole. Nicholas was banned from driving for two and a half years with the option of reducing the ban by seven months if he successfully completes a driver's rehabilitation course.

Meanwhile police spotted 35-year-old Duncan Pollett, driving without lights in Crown Street on November 10, South East Suffolk Magistrates heard.

Prosecutor Pat Taylor told the court Pollett was stopped in Norwich Road where he was breath tested.

The test proved positive and showed 53 mcg of alcohol in 100 ml of breath. The legal limit is 35 mcg.

Pollett, of Dales Road, who admitted drink driving, claimed he had just one alcopop drink before taking to the wheel.

Twelve months is the minimum driving ban and Pollett has the option of taking a driver's rehabilitation course. He was also fined £200 and ordered to pay £55 costs.

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