Drunk soldier nearly four times over limit ended up in ditch
- Credit: Archant
A drink-driving soldier who was nearly four times the limit when he crashed into a wall and later ended up in a ditch has been handed a suspended sentence.
David Nolan, 34, who is based at Rock Barracks in Woodbridge, was the driver of a Vauxhall Corsa when the car crashed into a brick wall at the end of an residential driveway in Melton around 7.30pm on March 31.
There was damage to the wall outside the property and the homeowner came out of his house after seeing Nolan at the end of his driveway, Wayne Ablett told the court.
Nolan showed the man his army ID but appeared unsteady on his feet and smelt of alcohol, Mr Ablett said.
He then got back into his car and drove off down the road.
Nolan was then seen "swerving all over the road" on the A1152 in Woodbridge, Mr Ablett told the court.
A witness said the car nearly made contact with another vehicle before coming to rest in a ditch.
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The police were called at 8pm and a roadside breath test was positive.
Nolan was arrested and blew 138 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - nearly four times the legal limit of 35mcg in 100ml of breath.
In police interview, Nolan made full admissions and was apologetic about causing damage to the wall, the court heard.
He was shown dashcam footage from another driver and was "shocked by the standard of his driving", Mr Ablett said.
Nolan, of the Royal Engineers regiment, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court in Ipswich on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to drink-driving.
The court heard Nolan was of previous good character.
Mark Thompson, mitigating, said Nolan had bought a vape on the day in question and then began drinking with friends.
He discovered the vape was not working and contacted the person who had sold it to him, and was told to bring it back for a replacement.
"He made the mistake to get into the car at that time," Mr Thompson said.
The British Army sent Nolan on an alcohol treatment programme within days of the incident and he has been abstinent from alcohol for several weeks, Mr Thompson added.
Magistrates handed Nolan 20 weeks' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with a six-month alcohol treatment programme.
He was also ordered to complete up to 25 rehabilitation activity days.
Nolan was banned from driving for two years and eight months and ordered to pay costs of £105 and a victim surcharge of £128.