Drink-drive carer caught five times the limit in car with ‘cling film’ window

Norfolk and Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team posted photos of Mariusz Kawanski's car and breath

Norfolk and Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team posted photos of Mariusz Kawanski's car and breathalyser reading on Twitter Picture: @NSRAPT/TWITTER - Credit: NSRAPT/Twitter

A care worker caught driving a car with a cling film window and a worn tyre – while almost five times the alcohol limit – has been handed a suspended jail term.

Mariusz Kawanski was pulled over in Sicklesmere Road, Bury St Edmunds, following reports of a Honda CR-V being driven erratically at about 7.25pm on Tuesday.

The 52-year-old appeared in custody at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court the following day to admit drink-driving, failing to maintain the condition of a car window and using a tyre with an exposed cord.

Prosecutor Colette Harper said Kawanski’s car was seen veering across the A134 at Bradfield Combust and nearly colliding with oncoming vehicles on the approach to Bury St Edmunds.

Sergeant Scott Lee-Amies picked up the Honda’s trail and observed Kawanski navigate a roundabout without indicating, stop for no reason and set off again at speeds of 5-15mph.

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Kawanski was pulled over outside the Macebearer pub, where Sgt Lee-Amies detected the smell of alcohol and noted the condition of the car.

Kawanski, who was convicted of failing to provide a sample of breath for analysis in 2007, this time agreed to the procedure and was found to have 164 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit being 35mcg.

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In interview, Kawanski said he had drunk one beer and a medium whisky on an empty stomach before driving to work a night shift at a care home in Bury St Edmunds.

Duty solicitor Jeremy Kendall said Kawanski had been among essential workers being applauded across the country in recent months for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

He said Kawanski, of Montfort Court, Haverhill, should have chosen to stay at home, but not wanting to let his employer down, had driven to work after accepting the shift.

Mr Kendall said Kawanski had patched up the window ahead of getting it fixed this Friday.

He said Kawanski was capable of carrying out unpaid work as part of a suspended sentence.

Magistrates said the drink-driving offence warranted custody, but chose to suspend a 16-week sentence for two years.

He was banned from driving for three years, ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work and fined £600 for the defective tyre and taped-up window.

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