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Lorry driver banned after driving while three times the legal drink-drive limit in Bury St Edmunds

Ipswich Magistrates Court (2255213)
Ipswich Magistrates Court (2255213)

A lorry driver has been banned from driving for more than two years after being caught on the A14 whilst three times the drink-drive limit.

Chris Hallatt, of Plumbley Lane, Sheffield, was charged with driving with excess alcohol after being caught by police on the A14 Westbound at Bury St Edmunds at around 7.35pm on Tuesday, June 5.

Police located the vehicle after receiving reports of a suspected drink-driver on the A12 northbound at Capel St Mary. They then followed him onto the A134 Thetford Road where he was requested to stop.

The attending officer said he could immediately smell alcohol upon approaching the driver, who then failed the initial roadside breath test. He was arrested and taken into police custody where he provided another breath test which gave a reading of 109 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35 micrograms.

Mr Hallatt appeared before Ipswich Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, where he pleaded guilty to the offence.

He was banned from driving for 28 months, which could be reduced by seven months on completion of a drink drive rehabilitation course.

He was also fined £170 and given a one year community order requiring him to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

Chief Inspector David Giles, who located the lorry and arrested the driver, said: "I have dealt with many drink-drivers in my career, but stopping someone more than three times the limit who was in charge of a vehicle of that size, is among the most alarming.

"I am simply shocked and astounded that a professional driver would take such a risk and show complete disregard for the safety of other road users - and himself - by getting behind the wheel in that condition.

"As a result he will now face a long spell off the road and this will no doubt have serious implications for his current employment.”