Drink driving soldier with 'exemplary record' is banned from road

South East Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich

Wesley Foster pleaded guilty to drink driving at Suffolk Magistrates' Court - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

A lance corporal in the British Army with "an exemplary military record" has been banned from the road after being caught driving at nearly twice the alcohol limit. 

Wesley Foster, 28, who is a member of the Household Cavalry, was seen by police driving a Volkswagen Polo in Newmarket on September 4 around 2.40am. 

Officers noticed the car only had its side lights on and requested the vehicle to stop, Colette Harper, prosecuting, told Suffolk Magistrates' Court. 

But Foster, who is currently based in Colchester with the Parachute Regiment, drove off at speed and turned left onto Fordham Road, Mrs Harper told magistrates. 

The car then turned onto Noel Murless Drive before stopping after reaching a dead end in Tom Jennings Close. 

Foster then got out of the vehicle and began to run before officers shouted at him to stop, Mrs Harper said. 

The soldier then admitted to officers he had been drinking and a roadside breath test was positive. 

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In custody, Foster blew 64 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - nearly twice the legal limit of 35mcg in 100ml of breath. 

The court heard that Foster, who had no previous convictions, drove tanks and other vehicles in the army. 

Foster, of Engelhard Road, Newmarket, pleaded guilty to drink-driving before magistrates on Wednesday. 

Graham Goodwill, mitigating, said Foster had been a serving soldier for nine years and had "an exemplary military record". 

Mr Goodwill said his client was "full of remorse for his stupid conduct". 

Foster had recently returned to the UK after a period of intensive training in Jordan but following the events in Afghanistan, there was a possibility he might be sent to the country, Mr Goodwill said. 

This led to him drinking with family and friends in Newmarket, and after returning home he then decided to go back out to get some food, Mr Goodwill told magistrates. 

"Stupidly he drove," Mr Goodwill said. "It's a big blow to him and his career. It's a blot on his copybook and will put his career development back."

Magistrates banned Foster from driving for 18 months and fined him £400. 

He was also ordered to pay £105 in court costs and a victim surcharge of £40. 

Foster was offered the opportunity to take the drink-drive rehabilitation course, which will reduce his ban by 18 weeks if completed in time.