A PUB landlord is banned from the road today after being caught drink-driving while giving a customer a lift home after taxis had refused to take him.

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Craig Pope, of Whitland Close, Ipswich, admitted driving with excess alcohol when he appeared before Ipswich magistrates.

The 52-year-old, who is co-manager of the Water Lily in St Helen’s Street, had been acting as a good Samaritan by a stranded man home.

Pope was driving a silver Nissan Navara when he was stopped in Wherstead Road, Ipswich, at around 12.15am on December 8.

A breath test showed he had 53 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Juliet Donovan, representing Pope, said a man turned up at closing time “rather the worse for wear”.

The court heard that because no taxi firm would take him, he kept coming back into the pub.

Miss Donovan said her client had been working all day and had consumed lager shandy, but had not eaten. However, he decided to “step in and be a good Samaritan, and not leave this man on the roadside”.

Magistrates were told it was a decision Pope now regrets.

Miss Donovan added: “He’s ashamed of his actions – very ashamed. It was a terrible mistake. He went too far in stepping into the breach for this man really.”

Pope was disqualified from driving for 12 months and fined £300. He must also pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

In a separate case Matthew Pope, 21, of Dock Street, Ipswich, was caught drink-driving at about 3.40am, also on December 8, in Christchurch Street.

Officers described him as being ‘plainly drunk’ and a breath test revealed he had 61mcgs in 100 millilitres of breath – nearly double the legal drink drive limit.

Pope pleaded guilty and was disqualified from driving for 17 months, which will be reduced by 17 weeks, if he successfully completes a drink driving rehabilitation course.

He was also fined £180, ordered to pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

He said: “It was a stupid thing to do and I think over the next 12 months I will be kicking myself.

“It is going to be difficult for my social life and my job as well so I will be paying the price for it.”

Meanwhile, Gytis Teresevicius, of Rapier Street, Ipswich, was banned for 20 months after also admitting drink-driving.

The 26-year-old had 71mcgs of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath when he was tested.

Teresevicius was in an Audi A4 when he was caught in Sainsbury’s car park in Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, on December 5.

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