Father set off on school run five times over drinks limit

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A father who was five times the legal drink-drive limit when he got behind the wheel to collect his child from school has been banned from driving for three years.

Steve Hadley, 40, was stopped by police on his way to his son’s school, following a tip-off that he had been drinking.

Officers stopped Hadley on the old A30 road at Indian Queens in mid-Cornwall on July 13, with tests showing he had 152 micrograms of alcohol in his system for every 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres.

He pleaded guilty to driving while under the influence of alcohol at Bodmin Magistrates’ Court last month. Yesterday he was given a 12-month community order and banned from driving.

Chairman of the bench, Barry Gubbin, said unemployed Hadley had come close to being sent to prison.

He added: “This was a very high reading and you are fully aware of the possible consequences. The word custody was well-used in our (sentencing) discussions.”

Ron Butler, prosecuting, said police received a call from a member of the public who was concerned about Hadley’s ability to drive on the day of the incident.

He said: “They located the vehicle and stopped the driver, who smelt strongly of alcohol.

“He was breathalysed and the lowest reading showed 152 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. He was four and a half or five times the drink-drive limit.”

Defending, Dieter Kehler said his client, who lives in Fraddon with his wife and two children, was remorseful and was aware of the implications of his actions.

He said: “He was aware he was doing the wrong thing and has reached a very important realisation about his behaviour.

“He has already started changing his ways and he is motivated and committed.”

Lizze Doble, for the Probation Service, told the court Hadley was on his way to collect his son from school when he was stopped by police, and had since accepted that his actions were “wrong and very serious”.

Hadley was told his driving ban would be reduced by 36 weeks if he completed a drink-driving rehabilitation course. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs.

Franki Hackett of road safety charity Brake, said: “It is appalling someone would take such an incredible risk as driving with this much alcohol in their blood, when even one small drink affects driving ability.

“It’s worse still that innocent children were put in great danger. We believe drivers who take horrendous risks like this should face appropriately strong penalties.”