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Chief inspector ‘astounded’ after catching lorry driver three times over the limit on A14 in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 16:01 08 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:01 08 June 2018

The lorry was spotted by police on the A14 near Bury St Edmunds Picture: GREGG BROWN

The lorry was spotted by police on the A14 near Bury St Edmunds Picture: GREGG BROWN

A lorry driver whose drinking “shocked and astounded” Suffolk police has been banned from getting behind the wheel for more than two years.

The lorry Chris Hallatt was driving when he was caught by police on the A14 Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARYThe lorry Chris Hallatt was driving when he was caught by police on the A14 Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Chris Hallatt, 37, was caught driving a heavy goods vehicle on the A14 while three times the drink-drive limit on Tuesday.

Police had been called at 6.50pm to reports of a suspected drink-driver in charge of an articulated lorry on the A12 northbound at Capel St Mary.

A roads policing unit found the vehicle on the A14 westbound at Bury St Edmunds at 7.35pm and tailed it onto the A134 Thetford Road, where officers pulled it over.

Suffolk police said that when the officer approached Hallatt, they could “immediately smell alcohol”.

Hallatt, of Plumbley Lane, Sheffield, failed a roadside breath test and was arrested.

He was taken into police custody where he provided another breath test with a reading of 109 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - more than three times the legal limit of 35 micrograms.

Hallatt was charged with driving with excess alcohol and appeared before Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in Ipswich on Wednesday, where he pleaded guilty to the offences.

He was disqualified from driving for 28 months, which could be reduced by seven months on completion of a self-funded drink drive rehabilitation course. He was also fined £170 and given a one year community order requiring him to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

Chief Insp David Giles, who located the lorry and arrested the driver, said the extent of Hallatt’s drink-driving had shown disregard for other road users.

“I have dealt with many drink-drivers in my career, but stopping someone more than three times the limit who was in charge of a vehicle of that size, is among the most alarming,” he added.

“I am simply shocked and astounded that a professional driver would take such a risk and show complete disregard for the safety of other road users - and himself - by getting behind the wheel in that condition.

“As a result he will now face a long spell off the road and this will no doubt have serious implications for his current employment.”

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