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Drink driver gets 20 month ban

PUBLISHED: 08:00 12 December 2008 | UPDATED: 07:50 01 August 2010

A VAN rolled over and landed in a field after its driver drunk up to seven pints of beer, a court has heard.

Joseph Watkins, 24, lost control of the van after he hit a large pool of water on the B1123 at Blyford, near Halesworth.

A VAN rolled over and landed in a field after its driver drunk up to seven pints of beer, a court has heard.

Joseph Watkins, 24, lost control of the van after he hit a large pool of water on the B1123 at Blyford, near Halesworth.

Watkins, of Pound Close, Halesworth called police to report the crash and admitted he had been drinking, Lowestoft Magistrates' Court was told. A breathalyser reading revealed he had 76mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Watkins pleaded guilty to drink-driving when he appeared in court on Tuesday and was banned from driving for 20 months.

Tess James, prosecuting, said Watkins had drunk six or seven pints of beer at a pub in Halesworth and then had a row with his girlfriend.

At this point he decided to go out in a van provided by the company he worked for, even though he was not permitted to drive it on personal journeys.

As a result, Watkins admitted a charge of the aggravated taking of a vehicle without consent, for which he was banned from driving for 12 months, to run concurrently with the other disqualification. He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £60 costs.

Diana Infanti, for Watkins, said: “Mr Watkins is very sorry about this. It has cost him dearly and he has lost his job now.”

She added that Watkins had paid £900 compensation to the owner of the van for the damaged caused.

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