Drink-driver got behind the wheel to go short distance for cigarettes

Derby magistrates' court.
Derby magistrates' court.

A boozed-up man made a foolish decision to drive a short distance from his home to buy cigarettes after he had run out of them.

Derby magistrates’ court heard how Alan Rattam, 61, of Millfield Road, Ilkeston, was seen struggling to get into his car by a man walking his dog and police were alerted.

Peter Bettany, prosecuting, said: “It was about 5.20pm, on October 29, when police officers were called out with a report that Rattam was trying to get into a car on Green Lane, Ilkeston, but he was plainly in drink. A couple of minutes later police arrived and still found him struggling to get into the car and he smelled strongly of drink and was unsteady on his feet and he was intoxicated and had his car keys out.”

Rattam told police he had come from his home to buy cigarettes even though it was only a short distance from his address and the court heard he had been spotted by a man walking his dog. The defendant admitted he would otherwise have driven home if he had not been interrupted. Rattam registered just over three times the drink-drive limit.

He pleaded guilty to exceeding the alcohol drink-drive limit.

Rattam said: “I feel full of remorse for it. I had so much to drink and I ran out of cigarettes and I never thought to just walk there. I agree it was about three-tenths-of-a-mile and it was a place I could have walked to easily.”

The defendant received a 12 month community order on November 28 with 150 hours’ unpaid work. He was ordered to pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge. Rattam was also banned from driving for 28 months.