Soldier handed drink driving ban

A SOLDIER caught drink driving after being spotted travelling the wrong way down a road has received a hefty fine.

James French was seen in the Hailsham area in a vehicle travelling at around 10mph in Hailsham.

Police stopped the car by The Railway public house and took the 23-year-old’s details. He failed a roadside breath test.

The Winchester Way resident was taken to the station where a test showed he had 85mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.

He pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

Madeleine Priestley, defending, said, “I know you and your colleagues will give him full credit for the early guilty plea and that he fully co-operated.

“He is a serving member of the British Army and was on home leave at Christmas time and going back the following day when this offence happened.

“He consumed alcohol during the day at home and met some friends in the evening and was driving a friend home.

“He accepts the journey was unnecessary and totally stupid.

“He has sought help with his alcohol consumption and recognises it’s not normal.

“He returned to Germany on January 4 and immediately sought help at the medical centre.”

Eastbourne magistrates fined French £450 and banned him from the road for 20 months.

His ban can be reduced by five months if he completes a drink driver rehabilitation course within a set period.

He must also pay £85 court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.