Suffolk: Trucker branded “disgraceful” after driving 40-tonne lorry for 150 miles while more than twice the drink-drive limit

A BOOZED-up trucker was caught behind the wheel of his 40-tonne lorry while more than twice the drink-drive limit – after having driven to Suffolk from Birmingham.

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SUFFOLK: A boozed up trucker was caught behind the wheel of his 40-tonne lorry while more than twice the drink-drive limit – after having driven to Suffolk from Birmingham.

Ian Shotton – branded “disgraceful and irresponsible” by a judge – was only caught when a garage attendant smelt alcohol on his breath as he went to buy a coffee at a service station on the A14.

By that time he had already completed 150 miles of his journey.

Traffic officers stopped his articulated lorry on the A14 near Sproughton at 9.30am on May 30.

During a hearing at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court yesterday, the 56-year-old, from Shropshire, admitted driving while over the alcohol limit.

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The court heard that a breath test carried out at the police station following his arrest recorded 85 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit is 35mcg.

Representing himself in court, Shotton said he had set off from Birmingham that morning at 6am.

A probation officer, who assessed Shotton, said he had drunk around six pints of beer the night before which was an “unusual amount”, as he normally only drank socially.

He told the court Shotton was stopped after a service station employee smelt alcohol on his breath as he served him a coffee.

Shotton was said to be “remorseful and devastated” and had lost his job as a result of being arrested.

Sentencing Shotton, District Judge David Cooper said: “It is really hair-raising to hear you were driving all that way in an articulated vehicle, from Birmingham to Suffolk.

“It seems to me you must have had more to drink than you said.

“If you had previous convictions I would be sending you to prison.

“Your behaviour was disgraceful and irresponsible.”

Judge Cooper handed Shotton a six-month community order and urged him to keep all supervision appointments.

He disqualified the 56-year-old from driving for two years, offering him a rehabilitation course to reduce that time to 18 months.

n What do you think of the sentence? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

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