Drink-driver prepares for a prison sentence

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A DRIVER who was involved in a car accident while more than four times the drink-drive limit has been told to prepare for prison.

Hearing the case, district judge David Cooper said that it involved ‘one of the highest readings’ he had ever known.

Edric Bray, 65, of Lark Valley Drive, Fornham St Martin, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Prosecuting, Rosalind Cappleman said that at 12.55pm on July 11 police were called to St Saviours roundabout, in Bury, where the Peugeot 307 that Bray was driving had been involved in an accident with a car pulling a caravan.

The Peugeot had received extensive damage to its front and the caravan was damaged at the back.

It became clear to police that Bray was unsteady on his feet and smelled of alcohol. A road side breath test was carried out in which a reading of 155 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath was recorded, said Mrs Cappleman - the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

In mitigation, Kevin McCarthy said that Bray was a retired chartered accountant and ‘a man with a long and enduring alcohol problem’.

On the afternoon of the accident he had topped himself up with vodka after a weekend of drinking.

Since then, Bray has reflected on his life and his problems and gone to Focus12 for help, said Mr McCarthy, adding that Bray had been embarrassed to tell his step children about his court case.

“This is one of the highest readings I’ve come across,” commented judge Cooper.

He released Bray on unconditional bail and issued him with an interim driving ban until August 10, when he will be sentenced at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court.

Despite Bray’s attempt to receive help through a drink rehabilitation charity, judge Cooper warned him to prepare for prison.

“I think it would be as well for you to prepare yourself for a prison sentence - I do accept that you have taken steps but I have the safety of the public to think about too,” he said.

Last week Suffolk police revealed the results of its summer drink and drug-drive enforcement campaign, which showed a ‘disappointing’ rise in the number of people drink and drug-driving.

Inspector Bruce Gent, of the road policing unit, said: “Those offending need to realise that they not just putting themselves at risk but other innocent road users as well. This is a very serious issue and can have severe consequences.

“Drink or drug-driving is one of the fatal four driving offences and will not be tolerated by Suffolk Police.”