Man’s ‘chivalry’ led him to drink drive

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A man has been banned from driving for two years after he gave an ‘upset’ girl a lift home, following a night out.

Daniel Robert Straker-Smethurst, 35, of Peterhouse Close, Mildenhall, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Roz Cappleman, prosecuting, told the court police had received a report of an intoxicated man, getting into a Ford Focus on September 30.

At about 3.30am police officers witnessed him swerving across Fornham Road, Bury St Edmunds.

Straker-Smethurst gave a positive reading of 106 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

A probation officer told the court Straker-Smethurst had not planned to drive, after going clubbing with friends, but made a ‘poor decision’ after meeting an ‘upset’ girl.

David Shipman, defending, told the court it was ‘chivalry’ that caused Straker-Smethurst to decide to drive her home after she told him her phone had been stolen.

District Judge, Celia Dawson, said: “I have heard a great deal of good things about you.

“The difficulty is this was a high reading.”

She sentenced Straker-Smethurst to a community order for one year with 80 hours of unpaid work, told him to pay £85 in costs and disqualified him from driving for two years, to be reduced by six months on completion of course.