Jail for cabbie caught with drink at hand while ‘astoundingly’ over limit
PUBLISHED: 14:15 15 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:36 15 January 2019
A Suffolk taxi driver has been jailed for getting behind the wheel of his cab while more than four times the legal alcohol limit.
Promise Moyo was caught with a drink nestled in the centre console of his Hyundai i40 in Bury St Edmunds on Monday afternoon.
After a night in the cells, the 46-year-old appeared before magistrates in Ipswich to admit driving with 158 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the limit being 35mcg.
A police inspector was astounded by the level of alcohol in Moyo’s system when officers stopped him in Out Risbygate just after 3pm, following a tip-off from a member of the public concerned about the manner of his driving.
Prosecutor Wayne Ablett said Moyo’s taxi was swerving across the road before being stopped and found to contain an iced alcoholic drink within the driver’s reach.
A police report suggested the cabbie had been en route to collect children from a school, but Moyo disputed the account, insisting he travelled to Asda for groceries after drinking heavily at home in Richard Walker Close.
Moyo was banned for 18 months for an excess alcohol offence in July 2002, before being banned for another year and handed a suspended jail term for driving while disqualified that October.
Mr Ablett told magistrates that Moyo’s breath test reading was so high it fell within the most serious category of sentencing guidelines.
“He not only put his own life in danger but, potentially, that of other road users and pedestrians,” he concluded, before duty solicitor Sue Threadkell said Zimbabwe-born Moyo had been in this country for 20 years, was married to an NHS nurse and provided financially for two sons, studying mechanical engineering and architecture in South Africa.
“I ask you to consider the impact of custody on his wife, who stands to lose her home, and these two studious individuals,” she said, adding that Moyo was genuinely remorseful but could not explain why he chose to drive.
Presiding magistrate Roger Newnham jailed Moyo for 18 weeks and banned him from driving for three years on release.
Inspector Chris Hinitt, of the serious collision investigation team, said: “To get behind the wheel of a car when more than four-times the legal alcohol limit is absolutely astounding.
“Driving a licensed taxi cab in such circumstances clearly and directly imperils the lives of others.”
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