Drunk driver found lying down asleep in field

Alex Riley was sentenced at Suffolk Magistrates' Court in Ipswich Picture: ARCHANT

Alex Riley was sentenced at Suffolk Magistrates' Court in Ipswich Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A man who admitted drink driving at four-and-a-half times the legal limit was asleep in a field when police arrived, a court heard.

Magistrates heard how Alex Riley, 34, of The Street, Butley, near Woodbridge, was seen driving near Sternfield around 12.50pm on March 31 this year.

The witness described seeing a black Fiat Sedici “swaying along” Snape Road before the vehicle mounted the verge and made contact with a hedgerow, the court heard.

The man stopped his car and went to speak with Riley, but it was clear he was drunk, David Bryant, prosecuting, told the court.

Police arrived at the scene around 1.15pm, and a short search of the area revealed Riley lying down asleep in a rapeseed field, Mr Bryant said.

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A roadside breath test was positive and Riley was arrested and taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre where he blew 160 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

The legal limit is 35mcg in 100ml of breath.

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Riley initially pleaded not guilty to two charges of driving while alcohol limit above limit and driving while unfit through drink.

But on Monday at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court, he changed his plea to guilty for driving with alcohol above limit, and the driving while unfit through drink charge was withdrawn by prosecutors.

The court heard that Riley had no relevant previous convictions.

Jay Lemosa, defending, said Riley’s eight-year relationship with his fiancée had ended and he had been “drinking heavily” the night before the incident.

“He fully accepts the danger he put the public in, and himself in,” Mr Lemosa said.

The court heard that Riley had been seeking help for alcohol issues and had “shown significant remorse” for his actions.

“This is a man in difficulty well on his way to recovery,” Mr Lemosa added.

John Beamish, chair of the bench, told Riley it was “a very serious incident” which passed the custody threshold.

Magistrates sentenced Riley to 20 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.

He was also banned from driving for three years and eight months and fined £135.

Riley was also ordered to pay costs of £325 and a victim surcharge of £122.

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