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More accused in drink drive menace

PUBLISHED: 20:22 09 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:10 03 March 2010

THREE Suffolk men, including two drink-drivers with previous convictions for boozing before getting behind the wheel, have begun driving bans as new figures today show the Star's Name and Shame campaign is falling on deaf ears.

THREE Suffolk men, including two drink-drivers with previous convictions for boozing before getting behind the wheel, have begun driving bans as new figures today show the Star's Name and Shame campaign is falling on deaf ears.

Suffolk's police have expressed their disappointment that their own Christmas anti-drink-drive crackdown has seen the same percentage of motorists test positive as in the same period last year.

Six per cent of those tested failed. A far smaller proportion of these drink-drivers were involved in accidents, however, with figures of just over a fifth comparing favourably with more than half last year.

Today the Star continues with its name and shame campaign, which runs until January 31, publishing details of the latest trio of drink-drivers facing lengthy bans.

Jeffrey Gillings, 40, of Bawdsey, who pleaded guilty, was stopped by police on December 9 after consuming nine cans of beer over the course of the evening.

As he drove the two-and-a-half miles to his Bawdsey home, Gillings, a cleaner, who lives and works in Bawdsey Manor, was stopped by police for driving too fast – at 47mph in a 30mph zone.

A subsequent breath test revealed that he was three times over the legal drink-drive limit.

A reading of 107 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath was recorded. The legal limit is 35mcg.

Magistrates banned him from driving for three years and sentenced him to a 200-hour community punishment order. He was also ordered to pay £55 costs and had his licence endorsed.

In a similar case, Dean Dolby, 29, of Lower Barn Road, Chattisham had pleaded guilty to drink-driving at an earlier court case.

Dolby was driving back to his girlfriend's parents house in Chattisham on December 8 when police stopped him.

He admitted that he had been drinking when stopped by police, but said that he had left a gap of three hours from consuming his last drink to setting off in his car.

A breath test gave a reading of 88 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.

It was Dolby's second offence for drink-driving and magistrates punished him with a three-year ban.

In addition, he received a Community Punishment Order of 80 hours and 12 months of community rehabilitation. He was also ordered to pay costs of £55.

Also in court was Graham Silver, 58, of Rendlesham. The court heard that he was driving home last Friday after he had consumed two pints of Stella Artois lager.

A subsequent breath test revealed a level of 54 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

Silver told the court that he was not a drinking man and didn't even feel that he was over the limit.

Magistrates gave Silver a year-long ban, which will be reduced to nine months if he completes a drink-drive rehabilitation course

A fourth man appeared in the same court but denied drink-driving and other motoring offences he is alleged to have committed on November 12 in Washbrook.

Phillip Bowers, 28, of Pearsons Way, Washbrook, was released on unconditional bail and ordered to reappear before Ipswich magistrates on February 12. But he denied drink-driving, driving without insurance, and failing to stop at the scene of an accident in which another vehicle was damaged.

Peter Whalley, 34, of Princes Gardens, Felixstowe, also appeared before Ipswich magistrates on charges of drink-driving, careless driving and dangerous driving.

He entered no plea to the charges which followed an accident on December 8 in Garrison Lane, Felixstowe. Felixstowe teenager Vicky Kelcher remains in a stable condition in hospital with pelvic and leg injuries. The case was adjourned to January 15.

News of these cases comes as the national drink-driving figures show a new breed of young motorists with no comprehension of the dangers of alcohol, responsible for a rise in drink-driving over the Christmas period.

According to figures released by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), 8.16per cent of breathalysed motorists tested positive compared with 7.18pc last year and 6.5pc the year before.

A total of 15,279 motorists were tested between December 18, 2001, and January 2, 2002, of which 1,247 were positive.

The total number of crashes in which people were injured over Christmas and New Year also rose to 6,512 from 6,173 the previous year, an increase of 5.5pc.

n The Evening Star's name and shame campaign will continue until the end of January. We pledge to cover all cases of those caught drink-driving by police during this period.

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