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Three drink-drivers banned from roads for total of 44 months

PUBLISHED: 15:47 03 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:47 03 January 2019

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As the Christmas drink-drive campaign comes to a close three more drivers have been disqualified - for a total of almost four years.

On December 29 around 3am, police received word from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital that a man “unsteady on his feet and smelling of alcohol” had got in his car and driven away, Norwich Magistrates Court heard.

Mark Chapman, 40, was tracked down in his car, on the hard standing on the B1153.

“He immediately said ‘I have had a drink, I know I will fail the test’,” prosecutor Stephen Poole told the court.

He blew a lower reading of 65mcg in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Chapman, of Cateryne Court, Swaffham, had driven to the hospital after his partner had fallen and hit her head in town the previous evening.

“He let his heart rule his head and panicked, he had to get there to make sure she is okay,” said James Burrows in mitigation.

The court heard that Chapman, a former pig farmer, has lost his job teaching at a college in York and is now on Universal Credit.

Alexander Edwards, 48, of Northfield Avenue, Wells-next-the-Sea, was caught at Briningham on December 29 driving a Hyndai Terracan.

Mr Poole said an off duty police officer was “concerned enough about [Edwards’] manner of driving” that he called 999.

Mr Burrows said Edwards had been a fisherman until four years ago, when he was “pulled overboard and rescued by lifeguard services”.

He said in mitigation the event had given the man “mental scars”, and he has since worked as a self-employed gas engineer.

“He had gone round a friend’s house, consumed some alcohol, and thought he was okay,” said Mr Burrows.

Edwards blew a lower reading of 54mcg.

Travis Setchell, 24, of March, Cambridgeshire, was driving his Ford Fiesta on Loke Road in King’s Lynn around 4am on December 30.

“A temporary sergeant on mobile patrol saw the vehicle driving relatively slowly and seeming a little uncertain,” said Mr Poole.

Mr Burrows said: “He had consumed some alcohol the previous evening and in the early hours of the morning thought he would be okay.

“He was clearly still over the limit.”

Setchell blew a lower reading of 49mcg.

All three admitted driving with excess alcohol.

Edwards was banned for 15 months and fined £200, Setchell banned for 12 months and fined £180, and Chapman banned for 17 months with a fine of £110.

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