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Christmas drink-drivers sentenced in Norwich

11:52 08 January 2013

Norwich Magistrates

Norwich Magistrates' Courts. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2011

Two of the 95 drink-drivers caught in Norfolk during the police’s Christmas campaign - including one who was three times the legal limit - were handed hefty sentences at Norwich magistrates’ court yesterday.

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Geoffrey Durrant, 23, from Levine Close, Brundall, was three times the legal drink-drive limit when he was stopped by police in Newmarket Road, Norwich at about 2.30am on December 14.

He gave a reading of 105mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, while the legal limit is 35mg.

He pleaded guilty to drink-driving and said in his defence: “I had just finished playing football, had a few beers. I had not planned to drive but I went out in the car to get food. It was stupid and out of character.”

He was banned from driving for 24 months, fined £350 plus a £35 victims surcharge, and ordered to pay £85 costs.

Richard Markwell, 29, of Stirling Road, Norwich, also pleaded guilty to drink-driving. He was caught driving his BMW in Riverside Road, Norwich, just before midnight on December 23. He gave a reading of 57mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Dave Foulkes, for Markwell, said: “He had drunk alcohol at home and then received a phone call from a friend asking for a lift. He thought that the alcohol he had earlier consumed would have been reduced in his system, but he made an error of judgement.”

Markwell, who works off-shore in Caister, was banned from driving for 12 months, fined £800 plus a victims surcharge of £80, and ordered to pay £85 costs.

Afterwards, a Norfolk police spokesman said: “Whilst we have been focusing on tackling drinking and driving during the festive season, this is something which is day to day business for our Roads Policing officers. Any motorist whose manner of driving or vehicle causes us concern will be stopped and breathalysed if appropriate.

“These two men have been banned from driving and fined, and their convictions will affect them for the rest of their lives. Any amount of alcohol affects your judgement and ability to drive and we would recommend using a designated driver or taking public transport, or not drinking anything at all.”

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