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Drunk driver leads police on A47 chase after failing to stop for crash

PUBLISHED: 14:28 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:28 13 February 2020

The Billockby junction between the B1152 and A1604 where the crash occured. PHOTO: Google Streetview

The Billockby junction between the B1152 and A1604 where the crash occured. PHOTO: Google Streetview

Archant

A drunk driver led police on a chase down the A47 then refused to give a breath test - despite being unable to walk without being held up.

Ryan Harmer, 24, pulled out at a busy junction in front of traffic last November, crashing into one car who was unable to get out of the way in time. He then fled the scene.

Harmer, of Stracey Road, Norwich, pleaded guilty to failing to stop after a road accident and for refusing to provide a specimen for analysis without any reasonable excuse at Great Yarmouth Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

Police officers chasing him described his driving as unpredictable, and said that he was "swerving side to side" and changing speed erratically.

When police officers caught up with the vehicle, Harmer refused to open the car door.

The officers described Harmer as "clearly over the limit and unable to walk".

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Arthur Balls, defending Harmer, said that his client had been dealing with his alcoholism since the age of 19, and had experienced "a clear lapse on this occasion".

He said: "Mr Harmer has had a licence since the age of 17, and this is the first incident he has been involved in.

"It's a shame - he has lost his good character as a result of this.

"It is 11 weeks since his last drink, and he is seeking treatment for his problems."

Magistrate Stan Chapman sentenced Harmer to 100 hours unpaid work, court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £95.

He also disqualified the defendant from driving for one year and ordered him to take a drink driving course at his own cost.

Mr Chapman admitted that the sentence was "extremely generous" and rested on Mr Harmer's previous good character.

He said: "Let's hope this is a blip in your driving career and we don't see you again."

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