‘You should really know better’ - Ex-driving instructor banned for drink driving

Allan Saunders (left) leaving Norwich Magistrates Court PIC: Peter Walsh.

Allan Saunders (left) leaving Norwich Magistrates Court PIC: Peter Walsh. - Credit: Archant

A former driving instructor has been banned from the roads after he admitted drink driving.

Allan Saunders, 57, had worked as a driving instructor in the Thetford area.

But following an incident Saunders was charged with driving a Toyota Yaris motor vehicle while alcohol levels were above the legal limit.

Norwich Magistrates Court heard that police were called to an industrial estate on Croxton Road, Thetford, on September 12 last year.

Stephen Poole, prosecuting, said Saunders, who was a driving instructor at the time of the incident, was stopped by police after he was seen driving out of a parking space.

The court was told there was no suggestion Saunders was conducting a driving lesson or that he had a student with him at the time of the incident.

Saunders was arrested at the scene and was later found to have 61 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood after a breath test was carried out.

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The legal limit for driving is 35.

Saunders, of Fairfields, Thetford, was charged with driving a motor vehicle while alcohol levels were above the limit.

He initially denied drink driving and was due to go on trial before city magistrates.

But on Monday (March 9) Saunders appeared in court for his trial and admitted driving with excess alcohol.

Ashley Barnes, mitigating for Saunders, said the defendant was "not a driving instructor anymore".

He said that as soon as a charge of this type is made "that employment has to come to an end".

Mr Barnes said Saunders was not employed at the moment and was "eating into the pension pot".

He said he should receive some credit for his plea and had never been convicted of this type of offence in his life.

Chairman of the bench Stan Chapman disqualified Saunders from driving for 17 months.

Sentencing Saunders, Mr Chapman said as "a driving instructor you really should know better, shouldn't you?".

Saunders was offered the chance of a drink driving course which, if successfully completed at his expense, could see the driving ban reduced by 17 weeks.

The defendant was also fined £162, ordered to pay £400 costs and a £32 victim surcharge.

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