American serviceman made ‘stupid decision’ to drive after drinks at pub

Tanner Anderson was sentenced at Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: ARCHANT

Tanner Anderson was sentenced at Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: ARCHANT

An American serviceman caught driving at more than three times the legal alcohol limit in Bury St Edmunds has been fined more than £1,000 in court.

United States Air Force (USAF) staff sergeant Tanner Anderson, 26, was pulled over by police at around 12.50am on July 25 due to an issue with one of his headlights, magistrates in Ipswich heard.

Anderson’s silver BMW Z4 was seen with a passenger in Eastgate Street before turning into East Close, where police stopped the vehicle.

On approach to the vehicle, officers saw the driver slumped in his seat, and he appeared to have his eyes shut, Ruby Mckeague, prosecuting, told Suffolk Magistrates’ Court.

Anderson, of New Cheveley Road, Newmarket, tested positive for alcohol at the roadside before later blowing 108 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

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

Appearing at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, Anderson pleaded guilty to driving with alcohol above the legal limit.

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Lyndon Davies, mitigating, said Anderson had been in the USAF for eight years and is due to be redeployed back to the United States in three months’ time.

Mr Davies said Anderson, who has been in England for four years and lives off base in Newmarket, had gone to stay with a friend in Bury St Edmunds.

“He had gone to the pub in Bury with friends, and had a bit to drink,” Mr Davies said.

“He had only been in the car a minute or so when he was stopped by police.

“One of his two main headlights was flickering on and off intermittently.

“He has been quite candid about it and says he has no excuse.

“He accepts it was a stupid decision to drive the short distance back to his friend’s.”

Mr Davies said that Anderson had no previous convictions and will also be punished on base for his actions.

“It is a blemish on an otherwise promising career,” Mr Davies added.

Magistrates fined Anderson £1,350 for drink driving and he was also banned from getting behind the wheel in the UK for two years.

Anderson was also ordered to pay £105 in costs and a £135 victim surcharge.

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