Drunk van driver ended up in ditch after six pints at pub

Ipswich Magistrates Court on Elm Street.

Nathan Tupper was banned from the road for four years at Suffolk Magistrates' Court - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

A drunk driver who was nearly four times the legal limit when his van ended up partly in a ditch off the A1120 near Stowmarket has avoided an immediate prison sentence. 

Magistrates in Ipswich heard it was the second time in two years that Nathan Tupper, 28, has been caught drink driving following a previous conviction in January 2020. 

Police were called to the A1120 at Stowupland around 12.30am on March 7 this year and discovered a Ford Fiesta van partly in a ditch and Tupper wandering on the road next to the vehicle, Wayne Ablett, prosecuting, told the court. 

Tupper initially tried to ignore the officer and walk off before he was guided back towards the police car and asked to provide a roadside breath test. 

He failed the test and was arrested before blowing 124 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath in custody. The legal limit is 35mcg in 100ml of breath. 

Tupper was interviewed on two occasions, and did admit the offence after initially denying it, Mr Ablett told magistrates. 

Tupper, of Stonham Barns Holiday Park, Pettaugh Road, Stonham Aspal, pleaded guilty to drink driving on April 8 and a pre-sentence report was ordered by magistrates. 

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The court heard that Tupper had been out drinking with friends at the Crown pub in Stowupland, and had consumed around six pints. 

He said he did not know what he was thinking getting into his vehicle but wanted to get home to see his partner. 

Tupper admitted to having issues with alcohol has since been engaging with rehabilitation charity Turning Point, the court heard. 

Tupper, who was not legally represented in court, apologised to magistrates for his actions. 

The court heard that he was fined £350 and banned from driving for 18 months for his previous offence on January 14, 2020. 

Magistrates sentenced Tupper to 12 weeks' imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with a 12-month alcohol treatment requirement. 

He was disqualified from driving for four years. 

Tupper must also complete 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days and 80 hours of unpaid work. 

He must also pay £105 in court costs, and a victim surcharge of £128.