Devon

Drink-driver Stuart Gilchrist almost five times over limit jailed

  • 21 May 2013
  • From the section Devon

A man who tried to drive 80 miles (129km) while he was almost five times over the legal drink-drive limit has been sentenced.

Stuart Gilchrist, from Berry Hill, in Hednesford, in Staffordshire, travelled 14 miles (23km) before he was arrested.

Gilchrist, 29, was told by the judge at Exeter Magistrates' Court he had "never seen a reading as high" in the court.

He was given a 16-week sentence, suspended for two years, and a 36-month driving ban for the offence in Devon.

Gilchrist, who admitted drinking and driving, had a reading of 165 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit is 35 micrograms.

'Real risk'

He had planned to drive from Exeter to the North Devon resort of Ilfracombe, where he was on holiday with his 71-year-old mother, but got lost in Cullompton, the court heard.

Police were alerted by members of the public who saw Gilchrist driving around the town in his Peugeot 405 on 1 May.

Defence lawyer Peter Seigne said Gilchrist had become an alcoholic and suffered depression after the loss of a brother, father and friend.

The judge said: "You were a real risk to the public and yourself over the distance you drove while under the influence of alcohol.

"The offence is so serious that prison is justified."

Gilchrist, who had no previous convictions, was also ordered to pay £165 and he was given a six month night-time curfew.

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