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‘Catastrophic error’ leads to driving ban

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 22, 2013

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A BOOZY van driver from Burton was three times the legal limit when seen swerving around a road on New Year’s Day, a court has heard.

A 30-month driving ban was imposed on Lewis Morrissey, of Stafford Street, Horninglow, after a hearing at Derby Magistrates’ Court.

Morrissey, a plumber by trade who is due to start warehouse work next month, admitted driving with 126 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

The 23-year-old was told by magistrate Katherine Heap: “This is a very high reading, a very dangerous reading, having that intake while driving.

“It could have been a lot worse because things can happen. In some ways, the public were lucky. I just hope you think twice about what you have done.”

Lynne Manning, prosecuting, said Morrissey, who had never been in trouble before, was pulled over by police on Manor Road, Derby at 3.40am on January 1.

She said: “The Vauxhall Astra van was driving erratically, swerving from side to side and crossing the white line in the centre of the road.”

Jo Tait, defending, said her client had been out in Derby with a friend who offered him a place for the night, but after the friend went off with his girlfriend, Morrissey was left with nowhere to go.

She said: “This is a one-off where he made a catastrophic error of judgment because he was so drunk.

“He says quite frankly he likes a drink. He doesn’t drink in the week but he does binge when he is with his mates. That is quite normal with young men of his age but is not particularly healthy.”

She told the court that Morrissey had been known to take the keys off a drunk man to prevent him trying to drive home from a pub on an earlier occasion.

In addition to his driving ban, the defendant was ordered to carry out 200 hours’ unpaid work and pay £85 prosecution costs and a £60 Government surcharge.

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