Ipswich: Drink driver’s safety plea

A MAN convicted of drink driving has made a heatfelt plea for others not to follow his example over the festive period.

The 26-year-old, who is backing Suffolk Police’s Christmas drink-drive awareness campaign, has spoken of how his life was turned upside down by the offence.

The man, who is from the Ipswich area, has given an anonymous interview to coincide with Suffolk police’s 12 Themes of Christmas campaign.

The man crashed his car after driving home from a night out with friends. He was found to be four times the legal limit and had to pay �4,000 to repair his vehicle.

He said: “The first thing is to say is that I was lucky to walk away from the crash. My car was a mess, but thankfully I didn’t have any serious injuries.

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“I was in court just a couple of days later and I remember being sat waiting to go in with the duty solicitor. He told me I could face six weeks in prison.”

The man was not given a custodial sentence, but he did receive a two-year driving ban and a heavy fine.

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He added: “The fine alone was difficult enough to pay but I also still had two years’ finance left to pay on my car.

“It was very frustrating having to travel everywhere on the bus while still paying for a car I could not use, but more than this I suddenly found myself under real financial pressure.”

“What made matters worse was that I was offered a job only for the offer to be retracted when they found out about my driving ban. “

Soon after he got his licence back, the man discovered that the problems he faced because of his conviction were far from over.

He said: “Even though it was nearly two years since the conviction my mum would still not insure me on her car in case I went out and did something stupid again.

“When I started looking at getting my own car and checking the insurance I found out that because of my conviction the premiums had almost trebled.

“People who think they can have a couple of drinks and will be fine to drive need to think about what they’re doing and how much a drink-driving conviction could affect their lives.

“It cost me a great deal of money, it cost me a job and it cost me the respect and trust of family and friends.”

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