Lorry driver banned after being caught three-times over the limit on the A14 at Bury St Edmunds

A 37-year-old lorry driver has been banned from the roads for over two years after being caught driving on the A14 whilst three times the drink-drive limit.

Police were called at 6.50pm on Tuesday 5 June to reports of a suspected drink-driver in charge of an articulated lorry on the A12 northbound at Capel St Mary.

The vehicle was located on the A14 westbound at Bury St Edmunds at 7.35pm by a police unit, which followed it onto the A134 Thetford Road where it was then requested to stop.

Upon approaching the driver, the officer could immediately smell alcohol and he failed the initial roadside breath test. He was then arrested and taken into police custody where he provided another breath test with a reading of 109 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Chris Hallatt, of Plumbley Lane, Sheffield, was subsequently charged with driving with excess alcohol and appeared before Ipswich Magistrates’ Court the following day, Wednesday 6 June, where he pleaded guilty to the offence.

He was disqualified from driving for 28 months (which could be reduced by seven months on completion of a drink drive rehabilitation course, which would have to pay for himself).

He was also fined £170 and given a one year community order requiring him to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

Chief Inspector David Giles, who located the lorry and arrested the driver, said: “I have dealt with many drink-drivers in my career, but stopping someone more than three times the limit who was in charge of a vehicle of that size, is among the most alarming.

“I am simply shocked and astounded that a professional driver would take such a risk and show complete disregard for the safety of other road users – and himself – by getting behind the wheel in that condition.

“As a result he will now face a long spell off the road and this will no doubt have serious implications for his current employment.”