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Drink-driver found unresponsive at wheel of car sentenced

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A drink-driver who stopped his car in the middle of a road and was so intoxicated he couldn’t be roused when officers attended, has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Andrew Reeve, aged 47, of Westonzoyland, was sentenced at Taunton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday June 22 to an eight-week jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, a 30-month disqualification from driving, as well as being ordered to pay court costs and a victim surcharge.

A member of the public came across a Land Rover Discovery stationary in the middle of Fore Street, Westonzoyland, blocking the carriageway with its engine running, at just before 6pm on Saturday 3 June.

The man asked the defendant, who was in the driver’s seat, to move the vehicle, which he initially refused to do, before then moving it down the road. When asked, the defendant admitted to being drunk and the witness called the police.

Officers arrived at the scene and found the defendant unresponsive still in the driver’s seat. It took three officers to lift him out and they were initially unable to rouse him.

The defendant was displaying signs of being heavily intoxicated, so he was arrested and taken to hospital to be checked over.

When he was discharged from hospital and taken into custody, he recorded a reading of 125mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.

Insp Mark Vicary said: “I was one of the officers attending this incident and I cannot recall ever seeing a driver more intoxicated. He was unresponsive and could not easily be roused.

“Due to concerns over his condition, he was taken to hospital to be checked over, and when he was brought into custody and breathalysed, more than seven hours later, he was still more than two-and-half-times over the legal limit.

“Driving a car at this level of intoxication can lead to catastrophic consequences; it’s reckless and highly irresponsible.

“As we approach our summer drink-drive campaign, known as Op Tonic, we want to thank the public for their ongoing support and encourage them to continue letting us know if they suspect or know drink or drug driving is happening, to help keep our roads safer.”

Drivers risk up to six months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine and a substantial driving ban if they are caught driving while above the legal limit. Anyone who causes a death while drink or drug driving faces up to 14 years in prison.

Information about drink/drug drivers can be reported online at Report drink and drug driving | Avon and Somerset Police or by calling 101 (always 999 in an emergency and if someone is currently driving under the influence of drink or drugs). 

Reports can also be made anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Independent alcohol advice, information, and tools to help people make better choices about their drinking can be found at www.drinkaware.co.uk