Shotley army driver was nearly three times drink-drive limit

Drink driver in court

Drink driver in court - Credit: Archant

An army driver’s career is hanging in the balance after he was caught driving while nearly three times the alcohol limit.

Rhys Prescott, of Great Harlings, Shotley Gate, pleaded guilty to drink-driving when he appeared before Ipswich magistrates.

Prosecutor Tamzin Sharp said in the early hours of August 16 police saw an orange BMW parked at the side of the road in Ipswich with its headlights on facing in the direction of the oncoming traffic.

Prescott was in the driver’s seat.

The court heard the 22-year-old was unsteady on his feet, his speech was slurred, and his breath smelled of alcohol.

A roadside breath test showed a positive reading and Prescott was arrested.

A subsequent breath test showed he had 92 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

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Mrs Sharp said when Prescott was interviewed by police he said had been out that night and had consumed four or five glasses of vodka.

Prescott was driven home by a friend at 12.20am, but at 2.30am decided to get in his car to drive to meet a female.

However, as his 4x4 came to a single stretch of carriageway another vehicle came the other way and he had to drive on to the grass verge and got stuck.

Prescott, representing himself, told the court: “I would just like to apologise. It was just a foolish act. I’m just pleading for some leniency as I need my licence badly for my job.”

A Sergeant Major from the Army Air Corps at Yeovilton in Somerset told the magistrates Prescott drove tankers with 2,000 litres of fuel used to refuel aircraft.

He said a driving ban would leave Prescott unable to fulfil his duties and he may be discharged from the service.

Magistrates acknowledged Prescott was seeking help for alcohol issues and disqualified him from driving for 12 months.

He was also ordered to pay fines and various costs totalling £893.

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