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Drink-drivers ‘risked own and other lives’ by taking the wheel on Christmas Day

PUBLISHED: 16:10 04 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:16 04 January 2019

The Christmas drink and drug-driving campaign took place throughout December  Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Christmas drink and drug-driving campaign took place throughout December Picture: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2008

Four men have been banned from driving after admitting taking the wheel while over the alcohol limit on Christmas Day.

First before Ipswich magistrates on Friday was Patrick Hills, 29, of London Road, Newmarket, whose speeding Range Rover Evoque was stopped in Barbara Stradbroke Avenue at 4.20am.

A breath test found 57 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of his breath the limit being 35mcg.

Solicitor Helen Korfanty said Hills had intended to leave the car at a friend’s home but drove away after a dispute, thinking enough time had elapsed since drinking.

His speed was just 3mph over the limit, she added.

Hills, whose work had involved chauffeuring jockeys, received a 15-month ban and £600 fine.

Marius Gustaitis, of Beaufort Street, Ipswich, had 82mcg in his breath when stopped due to his manner of driving a BMW 530 in Stoke Park Drive at about 9.25pm.

The 33-year-old, previously banned for two years in April 2012, was hit with another 43-month disqualification and £600 fine.

Michael Kent, 40, of Canterbury Green, Bury St Edmunds, blew 104mcg after his Vauxhall Insignia was seen swerving in Mildenhall Road, Barton Mills, at 12.20am.

The UPS driver, whose solicitor, Jeremy Kendall, said had drunk three pints on an empty stomach earlier in the evening, was banned for 26 months and must complete 100 hours of unpaid work.

Gary Dutton, 33, of Daisy Drive, Leiston, had 47mcg in his breath when pulled over on the A12 near Martlesham at about 7.55pm, after his Ford Focus was spotted overtaking vehicles on hatched road markings near Bredfield.

The transport manager for a recycling firm was banned for 14 months and fined £280.

Meanwhile, Pawel Zukowski, 32, of Constable Road, Felixstowe, accepted blowing 94mcg in Ascot Drive the same day, but will argue special reasons for avoiding a ban at the same court on April 3.

A spokesman for Suffolk police, which held its annual Christmas drink-driving campaign in December, said: “To get behind the wheel under the influence of drugs or excess alcohol not only risks your life but also the lives of others. Unfortunately, it would seem that some motorists are still choosing to take a gamble on the roads, even on Christmas Day.

“Our plea to motorists is to not even consider taking the risk but to make alternative travel plans, as it could cost you much more than just your licence.”

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