06:16 Tuesday 12 November 2013

Drink driver caught in Ely was four times legal alcohol limit with one of highest readings ever seen in Cambridge Magistrates' Court

Written byADAM LUKE

Cambridge Magistrates' Court Cambridge Magistrates' Court

A drink driver who registered one of the highest breathalyser readings ever seen at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court has been warned he could face jail.

Gareth Draper, of Monkswood, Littleport, admitted the offence which happened on Friday night, causing him to be held in a police cell until yesterday’s hearing.

The court heard the 38-year-old had been drinking wine after days of not eating due to depression caused by losing his job and splitting from his wife.

Paul Brown, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was first seen in his silver Peugeot by members of the public at 11.15pm in Pond Lane, Little Downham.

“He was driving very slowly, then he reached the junction with Cannon Street and pulled out almost hitting another vehicle, which stopped.”

But the father-of-three continued towards Ely, joining Ely Road and swerving from side to side, accelerating to what witnesses estimated was up to 80mph.

Mr Brown told Magistrates Draper almost had a head-on crash with a van travelling in the opposite direction, while two further drivers were forced to take “emergency action” and mount kerbs before he finally pulled to a stop near Ely Community College.

Police, who were called by the witnesses, arrested Draper and a breathalyser recorded 136mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – the legal limit is just 35mg.

Nick Symonds, mitigating, said he was “appalled” his client had been held in police custody all weekend, and said the offence was “isolated”.

He said: “There is no suggestion he has ever done this before and or would do so again. He is not someone who is daily dependant on alcohol, but on this occasion he had drunk to excess.”

Due to the high alcohol reading and nature of the driving, magistrate Claire Robinson requested a pre-sentence report to assess all options, including immediate custody. Draper was bailed to reappear on December 2.

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