Ipswich: Double drink-driver was more than four times limit

A TWO-time drink-driver caught behind the wheel while more than four-and-a-half times the legal alcohol limit has been spared jail.

Gavin Duthie, of Fishbane Close, Ipswich, must undergo an alcohol treatment programme as part of an 18-month supervision requirement attached to a suspended prison sentence.

Ipswich magistrates told Duthie – who admitted drink-driving – that his 18-week sentence would be suspended for 18 months after his solicitor begged magistrates on his behalf not to send him to jail.

Chairman of the bench, Bob Skinner, told Duthie that although the offence “well and truly passed the custody threshold”, he would not go to prison. However, he would be subject to restrictions. Prosecutor Colette Griffiths told the court Duthie had also been convicted of drink-driving in 2003.

Mrs Griffiths said it was likely there was also a high reading involved on that occasion as the driving ban was longer than usual.

The court was told staff at the One Stop Shop in Reynolds Road, Ipswich, had called police on June 15 after they suspected Duthie was drunk when he had gone into the store to purchase alcohol.

Officers saw Duthie driving away and stopped him in Cotman Avenue.

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A bottle of vodka was discovered in the driver’s footwell of his Vauxhall Astra. A breath test showed Duthie had 159 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.

Shelley Lapatrie, representing Duthie, implored magistrates to give her client one last opportunity to tackle his alcohol problem.

She said: “He knows his behaviour was stupid and reckless.”

Duthie was said to have lost his job before Christmas, plunging him into a spiral of despair.

The court heard he had carried out volunteer work in the Middle East and was due to be working at the Olympics, where he would be assisting in preparing the food for athletes and spectators during the Games.

In addition to his suspended sentence, Duthie was banned from driving for four years and ordered to pay �85 costs.

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