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Drink driver who risked trip home from pub is jailed

PUBLISHED: 12:28 29 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:04 29 November 2018

Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court. Google Maps

Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court. Google Maps

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A drink driver who got behind the wheel while disqualified after drinking "more than normal" has been jailed.

More than 200 people were caught drink or drug driving in Norfolk and Suffolk over the festive period last year. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYMore than 200 people were caught drink or drug driving in Norfolk and Suffolk over the festive period last year. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

William Neil, of Great Northern Close, Great Yarmouth, was almost three times the legal drink drive limit when he was stopped by officers near his home on September 18.

Appearing at Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, the 56-year-old, who has not had a driving licence since 2015, pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified, drink driving, driving without insurance and resisting an officer in the execution of their duty.

Nicola Pope, prosecuting, said: “At 5.30pm, police stopped a silver Audi A4 for having a defective break light and a smashed wingmirror. Officers could smell alcohol on his breath and he was arrested, before becoming abusive and threatening the officers.

“He had registered the car to himself in 2017.

“He told police he had been dropped off at a pub in Norfolk but his friend was unable to pick him back up so he decided to risk it.”

Neil was found with 233 milligrammes of alcohol in 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80 milligrammes.

Neil has a history of motoring offences, including convictions for driving while disqualified in 1993 and 1997, drink driving in 2000 and 2006, and failing to provide a sample in 2015.

He was convicted again of driving while disqualified in 2015 and 2016, with a 34 month disqualification still active until next year.

James Hartley, defending, said: “Some years ago, he fell through a floor and broke his foot and collarbone and suffered a compressed spine, leaving him in hospital for eight months, when it was also discovered he has an inoperable brain tumour.

“He is disabled and suffers seizures so is not supposed to be out on his own.

“He refuses to walk with a stick because he has a certain degree of pride and because of that he is not a good patient.

“He has a car for other people to drive him and his friend, who he is like a son to him, dropped him off at the pub but never came back.

“While he was waiting he drank more than he normally would then decided to drive. It was less than a mile to his house.”

The father-of-four was sentenced to 16 weeks in custody and banned from driving for four years. He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115.

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