Driving ban for US Air Force mechanic from RAF Mildenhall found 3.2 times over limit
PUBLISHED: 17:37 31 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:37 31 January 2020
An American serviceman crashed his car while being more than three times over the drink-drive limit following an upsetting conversation with his partner.
Justin Alexander, 25, who is stationed at RAF Mildenhall, was found drunk behind the wheel in his smashed-up Honda Accord in Kingsway, Mildenhall, just after midnight on January 12 this year.
Ipswich Magistrates' Court heard Alexander, who is employed as an aircraft mechanic by the US Air Force (USAF), had been at home, but got in the car following "quite a deep discussion" with his partner which led to them talking about whether they should split up.
Claire Lockwood, mitigating, said he went to get some air "but what he shouldn't have done was get into the vehicle".
David Bryant, prosecuting, said a police officer found the crashed vehicle on the opposite side of the Kingsway carriageway, adding three tyres had been destroyed and there was damage to the wheel arch and front bumper.
Alexander appeared "unsteady on his feet" and was taken to the Bury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre after a positive breath test at the roadside.
Results revealed 115 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - 3.2 times the legal limit of alcohol of 35 microgrammes.
In interview his solicitor read out a prepared statement: "I accept that I was found by police drunk in my vehicle in the driving seat."
Mr Bryant said he was questioned about the damage to the car, which was rented, but was advised by his solicitor not to answer.
The prosecutor added Alexander, who admitted the charge, had been drinking cognac at a friend's place before the incident, which happened about a five-minute drive from his Wellington Close address in West Row.
Miss Lockwood said: "He says he was in fact at home prior to this accident and had no intention of driving at all."
The court heard Alexander had no prior convictions and had an "unblemished" record during his six years in the military.
In the court hearing today he was banned from driving for 26 months, ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work, a victim surcharge of £90 and court costs of £85.
He is also planning to take a drink-drive rehabilitation course, which would reduce the length of the ban if completed.
The court heard the USAF had removed his driving permit and would also be holding a disciplinary hearing.