Brewery boss banned from driving

Mauldons brewery director Charlie Buckle

Mauldons brewery director Charlie Buckle - Credit: RACHEL EDGE

A Suffolk brewery boss and pub landlord has apologised for his ‘ridiculous’ decision to drive while almost three times the legal alcohol limit.

Charlie Buckle, managing director of Mauldons brewery, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday afternoon to admit drink-driving in Hadleigh on July 24.

The 26-year-old’s Volkswagen Golf pulled away from a junction into the path of a police car travelling along the A1071 towards Ipswich at about 11.45pm.

Prosecutor Colette Harper said the officer had to brake to avoid a collision with the car, which continued travelling along the road with an indicator illuminated for 40 seconds, without turning, before slowing down, then accelerating and swerving into the other lane.

The vehicle was pulled over in Bridge Street, Hadleigh, where Buckle was arrested on suspicion of driving while unfit through drink or drugs, despite telling police he had consumed only a single beer before taking the wheel. 
In custody, he provided an evidential breath test reading of 100 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit being 35mcg.

Mrs Harper said the offence carried a disqualification of 23-28 months and had been aggravated by Buckle’s manner of driving.

Buckle, who runs the Sudbury brewery and the Lindsey Rose pub, near Hadleigh, told magistrates: “There’s nothing about 
the explanation of the offence I would disagree with.

“All I would say is that I’m sorry for my ridiculous actions.
“It’s not something I’m proud of, or something I ever plan to repeat.”

Magistrates said they accepted Buckle’s display of remorse and his early guilty plea, and had taken into account his lack of any previous criminal convictions.

They said the offence had crossed the threshold of imposing community order, but had decided to deal with the sentence by way of financial penalty, in light of ongoing difficulties guaranteeing unpaid work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Buckle, of Whatfield, near Hadleigh, was fined £833 and ordered to pay another £188 in court costs and surcharges. 
He was banned from driving for 24 months but will have the opportunity to reduce the disqualification period by 24 weeks upon completion of a drink-drive rehabilitation course.