Student was nearly three times over limit

A student got behind the wheel of the car while over the drink drive limit following an argument with his ex-girlfriend.

Police were tipped off in the early hours of Tuesday October 2 that a man who had been driving away from a pub had been drinking.

They saw the white Ford Fiesta, driven by Shane Coffey, was going the wrong way down a one-way street in Eastbourne and when they spoke to him they noticed he was drunk, unsteady on his feet and smelt of alcohol.

Prosecutor Jeremy King told Eastbourne magistrates the 21-year-old failed a roadside breath test and a later reading at the police station showed he had 102mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

The legal limit is 35mcg and therefore Coffey was nearly three times the drink drive limit.

At a hearing at Eastbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday October 16 Coffey, of Durham Avenue, Essex, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

Dale Beeson, defending, said his client was a third year sports science student who also worked at a health and fitness centre in his home city and had no previous convictions.

He said Coffey had been visiting friends in Eastbourne on the night in question and that he was planning on staying over.

He added, “He came into contact with his previous girlfriend and was involved in an argument and drove around to clear his head.

“He came to the attention of police and made the mistake of going down a one way street.

“He pleaded guilty.

“He is not a regular drinker and has committed no previous offences.

“He’s a sports science student in his third year.

“It’s going to have implications for him.

“It was a stupid action on his part, a one-off impulsive action in the face of emotion.

“He understands the seriousness of the offence.

“He stands here embarrassed and ashamed of his actions.

“I would invite you to offer him the drink driver awareness course.”

Magistrates told Coffey the reading was very high.

They disqualified him from driving for 24 months.

He was also fined £200, must pay £85 court costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

He was offered a drink driver rehabilitation course which will reduce his ban by six months if he completes it in a set period of time.