Teenage driver’s ‘stupid mistake’

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A ‘YOUNG and talented’ teenager who got behind the wheel of a car after drinking two beers told the court he was remorseful for the drink driving offence.

Jake Whetcombe, of Angus Close, Eastbourne, appeared before the town’s magistrates court on Friday (January 20) and pleaded guilty to driving while over the legal limit.

The court heard that 18-year-old Whetcombe had been stopped by police at around 2.20am on January 7 because he didn’t have his lights on.

The officer pulled him over to make him aware of the problem.

Whetcombe admitted that he had been drinking and failed a roadside breath test with a reading of 64mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath - the legal drink drive limit is 35mcg.

Whetcombe was taken into police custody and was fully co-operative with the police.

Maggie Biglou, defending, said, “He is a young talented man who just made a stupid mistake.

“When we are young we learn from our mistakes and I am asking you to take that into consideration.”

Miss Biglou said that he was at college studying music and was planning to go to a specialist college or university after his BTEC course.

She said the reason he had got behind the wheel was because he had split from his girlfriend and had been out of touch with his friends for some time.

On the night of the offence Whetcombe was invited out to a rugby club reunion and although he did not drink alcohol at the rugby club, he had two beers after going in to town.

When he got to the pub in town he also saw his ex-girlfriend and they started chatting.

Miss Biglou said, “He was so happy to have his friends around him again that he made a stupid decision – a massive error of judgement.”

Magistrates banned Whetcombe from the road for 15 months and ordered him to pay a £150 surcharge, £85 in court costs and a £15 surcharge.

Whetcombe was also offered the drink drivers’ rehabilitation course which will reduce his ban to one year.