Suffolk: Star launches drink-drive campaign with appeal to catch motorist on the run

Shahamdeen Rashid Ismail, who was charged with drink-driving

Shahamdeen Rashid Ismail, who was charged with drink-driving - Credit: Contributed

Today the Ipswich Star launches its annual Christmas campaign against drink-driving with an appeal to catch an alleged serial offender.

Suffolk police are currently hunting for Shahamdeen Rashid Ismail who had been due to appear in court for allegedly committing his third drink-drive offence while more than four-and-a-half times the legal alcohol limit.

Ismail, of Bramford Lane, Ipswich, was also accused of driving while disqualified after he had been banned from the road in June following his second drink-drive conviction. The 35-year-old was nearly four times the limit when he was arrested at around 2.30am on May 22 in Bramford Lane.

As a result Ismail was given a 42-month driving ban and a suspended four-month prison sentence, along with a supervision order.

Over the past 20 years The Star has campaigned against drink-driving, particularly over the Christmas and New Year period.

This year we will continue to name and shame drink-drivers arrested between December 1 and January 1 when they appear in court.

We fully support police in their campaign to rid the roads of alcohol-fuelled drivers, which is why we believe it is so important for Ismail to be found.

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A warrant is currently out for his arrest for failing to turn up for his court case on November 6.

In the interests of the public The Star took the unusual step of requesting Suffolk Constabulary put out an appeal for information in the hope Ismail could be found in case he decides to get behind the wheel again.

He is accused of driving a Ford Focus in All Saints Road, Ipswich, on October 22 with 158 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

In addition to his previous conviction four months earlier, Ismail had also been convicted of drink-driving in 2009 when he was given an 18-month ban.

Richard Jones, a spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary, said: “We are appealing for information over the whereabouts of Shahamdeen Rashid Ismail.

“Mr Ismail is currently wanted by Suffolk Police having failed to turn up at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court to answer his third charge for drink driving.

“Given his past convictions for drink driving, and the fact that he was banned from driving at the time of his alleged third offence, Mr Ismail has shown a disregard for not only the law, but also for the safety of other road users as well.

“Given the potential risk Mr Ismail poses we would asked anyone who knows where he is, or who sees him, to contact Suffolk Constabulary on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”