Great Yarmouth driving instructor caught drink-driving on way to pick up student

Peter Rackham at Norwich Magistrates Court.

Peter Rackham at Norwich Magistrates Court. - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

A driving instructor was more than twice the drink-drive limit when he was stopped on his way to collect a student for her test in Norwich on Christmas Eve.

Peter Rackham had drunk half a bottle of brandy the night before and had his keys seized by a concerned motorist after he was seen swerving before stopping in a lay-by, Norwich Magistrates' Court heard.

Prosecutor Andrea Lock said 62-year-old Rackham had been spotted on Norwich Road at Wroxham 'swerving all over the road and braking for no reason'.

He was followed into the lay-by by another motorist, who took his keys and 'blocked him in his driver's seat so he couldn't get out despite several attempts', Ms Lock added.

Police were called and arrested Rackham, of The Street, Great Yarmouth, who blew a reading of 82 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Rackham, a driving instructor for 25 years who has now lost his job, had been due to pick up his student for her driving test, in Norwich, at about 7.30am.

Debbie Reynolds, for Rackham, said he had since quit drinking, and 'has been through the sweats and the shakes'.

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'The only silver lining is a problem he has been burying his head in the sand about has now come to light and he is getting help,' she added.

Rackham pleaded guilty to drink-driving and was banned from driving for 22 months, fined £200, with costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £20.

The day before Rackham's offence, 27-year-old Stephen Dick drove at speeds of between 60 and 80mph in a 30mph zone as he tried to evade police in Norwich Road, Horsham St Faith.

He had been enjoying drinks for his mother-in-law's wedding and decided to get in his car at 2am. The police pursuit only ended when Dick crashed into his grandparents' front garden. In custody he blew 68 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, and was 'polite and apologetic' to officers, prosecutor Andrea Lock said.

Ms Reynolds, mitigating, said Dick, a father-of-three, was being treated for a personality disorder, and 'if he drinks he will often change personality'.

Dick, of Hamilton Road, Great Yarmouth, admitted drink-driving, was banned from driving for 18 months, fined £500, with costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £50.

Also admitting drink-driving on Norfolk's roads were Liam Mackelden, Karl Izzard and Jason Townsend.

Mackelden, 22, of Crown Green, Burston, Diss, was found to have 93 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath on December 16.

He was disqualified from driving for three years as it was his second conviction for drink-driving in 10 years. He was also fined £350, ordered to pay £40 towards costs and a £35 surcharge.

Izzard, 39, of Tubby Drive, Poringland, admitted drink-driving after an incident on December 19 on the A146 Loddon Road.

He was found to have 68 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. He was banned for 17 months, fined £450, ordered to pay £85 costs and a £45 surcharge.

Townsend, of St Ann's Street, King's Lynn, was banned from driving for 14 months and ordered to pay a £500 fine after he admitted drink- driving and a separate charge of harassment at King's Lynn Magistrates' Court.

He was found to have 48 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. He was also ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £50 surcharge.

The EDP and the Norwich Evening News have vowed to name and shame motorists who put lives at risk by drinking and driving. As part of the campaign we will expose those who are punished for drinking and driving during the festive crackdown and publish their name and details.