“Just don’t do it” - drink-drive warning from former driving instructor caught the morning after

Drink driver Peter Thomas Rackham at Norwich Magistrates Court.PHOTO BY STAFF.

Drink driver Peter Thomas Rackham at Norwich Magistrates Court.PHOTO BY STAFF. - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

A former driving instructor caught over the limit the morning after drinking half a bottle of brandy has warned others 'just don't do it'.

Peter Rackham was more than twice the drink-drive limit when he was stopped on his way to collect a student for her test in Norwich at 7.30am on Christmas Eve last year.

Police arrested Mr 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.

He pleaded guilty to drink-driving at Norwich Magistrates Court in January and was banned from driving for 22 months, fined £200, with costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £20.

Now retired, Mr Rackham, 63, has warned others not to drive at all the day after drinking.

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'I would say just do not do it,' he said. 'You lose your money, you lose your licence, you lose your job and all sorts of awful things like that. 'I don't drink at all these days, I don't touch the stuff. I have got my bus pass now so I am getting around fine. 'I am retired now, and at my age you are not expected to be able to find a job at 63. I have been on the drink drivers awareness course as well, where they talk about things like how long it takes to get alcohol out of your system and how many you could have and how long it takes to get rid of it.

'I just would not advise it at all. If you know you are going to be driving the next day don't bother. 'It has changed my life completely. I am retired now so it stopped me working. If I had been 21 it would be completely different. You lose everything.'

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A survey of almost 20,000 motorists by the AA has found 29pc of all 25 to 34 year olds admitted to drinking and driving the following morning.

About 5500 people fail breath tests between 6am and noon every year as motorists underestimate the perils of driving the morning after several drinks.

Department for Transport (DfT) statistics show that 'morning after offences' accounted for 13.82pc of all drink-driving offences 10 years ago but that figure has now risen above 20pc.

Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, head of Roads Policing in Norfolk and Suffolk, said a number of drivers stopped and breathalysed this month have provided readings close to the limit and called on motorists to plan ahead and leave the car at home the morning after celebrating.

He said: 'With the big day fast approaching, people will be heading out, visiting family and friends and enjoying a drink.

'While many people will make plans for their journeys on the night, it is also important to consider 'the morning after' because although you may not have had a drink for several hours, you could still be over the limit.

'Several people have provided readings close to the legal limit in the morning and admitted to drinking the night before. I would urge people to think about the consequences of drink driving; you will almost certainly lose your licence which can in turn impact heavily on your work and social life. 'Also, a criminal conviction is something no wants this Christmas.'

This paper is supporting Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies in their month-long Christmas drink-drive campaigns and we have vowed to name and shame as many motorists as possible who are convicted of drink-driving between December 1 2016 and January 1 2017.

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