Drink-drive lawyer 'fell asleep on A12'

A DRINK-driving solicitor who stopped his car and fell asleep on the A12 after driving erratically has been banned from the road.

Colin Adwent

A DRINK-driving solicitor who stopped his car and fell asleep on the A12 after driving erratically has been banned from the road.

Oliver Holmes, of Constable Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to drink driving at nearly twice the legal limit for at least nine miles when he appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court.

Prosecutor Lesla Small said police were called by another motorist around 11pm on September 8, who began following Holmes' Audi along the A12 from Colchester. The driver had become very concerned about the 52-year-old's driving.

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The court heard Holmes' car was swerving towards the kerb and between lanes as it travelled at speeds of between three miles per hour and 80mph.

At one point the Audi stopped completely for 30-40 seconds.

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The witness was so worried about safety that he put his hazard warning lights on as he continued to trail Holmes along the dual carriageway.

Ms Small said two other drivers also saw the Audi swerving and took evasive action by deciding not to overtake the vehicle.

When Holmes stopped his Audi again at Capel St Mary, the man following him got out of his vehicle and approached the car.

He found Holmes slumped over the steering wheel of the Audi smelling of alcohol.

The man managed to take the keys from the vehicle. When the solicitor was roused he got out and started walking off down the A12.

By the time police arrived Holmes could not be seen, so officers went to look for him after finding his documents in the car.

A sample of blood was taken at Ipswich police station after his arrest. It showed Holmes had 154 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80mlgs.

The court heard Holmes said he could not recall driving because he was intoxicated, but did recall someone taking his keys and the next thing he remembered was being arrested.

Holmes, representing himself, told magistrates: “I am sorry. I very much regret what happened. I should have known better. I believe I was very tired which contributed to it. I appreciate I should not have been driving. At the time I thought I was ok and I wasn't.”

He added he had been out for a drink after finishing work and in hindsight should have got a train home.

Magistrates banned Holmes from driving for 18 months, fined him �750 and ordered him to pay �85 costs as well as a �15 victim surcharge.

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