Former airman was five times the limit

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A US Air Force veteran has appeared in court after being caught driving five times the drink drive limit.

Andrew Meyers, 44, of Lavender Close, Brandon, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Prosecuting, Emma Howson said police officers were driving along London Road in Brandon at around 12.30am on December 21 last year when they spotted a car driving on the wrong side of the road towards them.

The vehicle veered back over to the left hand side of the road, narrowly missing a set of bollards.

The officers followed the vehicle and pulled it over.

Meyers was arrested and when breathalysed at the police station gave a reading of 177 micrograms in 100 millilitres of breath.

The drink drive limit is 35 micrograms.

In mitigation, Philip Trotter acknowledged this was a very high reading.

“It is one of the highest readings I have dealt with,” he said.

Mr Trotter said Meyers was suffering from post traumatic stress from his experiences in war zones around the world and had planned to take his own life that night.

He said Meyers had become deeply depressed and had become an alcoholic.

He said: “This is a very tragic case.

“This is a gentleman who has served his country for the last 25 years in the US Air Force in some of the major conflicts in the world.

“He is a polite, courteous man, a man with children who in the last few weeks has tried to take his own life.”

Mr Trotter said Meyers had served in Pakistan, Kurdistan, Iraq and Kuwait.

He said Meyers’ last role in the USAF was organising the movement of dead US servicemen in Afghanistan to Kuwait where they would be flown home to loved ones.

“This is a man who has served his country and has become gripped and destroyed by alcoholism.”

“That night he took far too much alcohol in view of deliberately crashing into a tree.”

Mr Trotter explained that on December 23, two days after the incident, Meyers had booked himself into the Priory Clinic.

He spent Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day at the rehabilitation centre.

Presiding magistrate Stephanie Challinor asked the probation service to conduct an all options report on Meyers.

His sentencing was put back until February 18.

Meyers was released on conditional bail until his next court appearance.