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Newbury man was three times drink-drive limit after "downing shots" to cure hangover

“You are that close to prison," judge tells defendant

Chris Ord


01635 886639

A NEWBURY man was given a suspended prison sentence and banned from driving for four years after he was caught driving while three times the drink-drive limit.

Reading Magistrates Court heard how Wojciech Malinowski had downed a number of ‘shots’ to make himself feel better after waking up with a hangover on Saturday, January 6.

Just hours later, the Polish national got into his car and drove from his home in Fontwell Road to Enborne Road, where he was stopped by police at around 2.30pm.

Mr Malinowski blew a reading of 102mcg in 100ml of breath – almost three times the legal limit of 35mcg.

District judge Davinder Lachhar chastised Mr Malinowski, saying: “This is a very high reading.

“I don’t think you realise how dangerous it is to drive on a public road in a vehicle which is actually a weapon if you are so drunk.”

The hearing, last Thursday, was told how the warehouse worker had stayed up until the early hours, drinking with a friend.

Mr Malinowski’s solicitor told the court her client had awoken on the day of his arrest feeling “unwell, possibly hungover”, so he had “shots to feel better”.

She went on: “Later on that same day he thought he would be fine so he got into his car.

“He realises he was over the limit and given the opportunity he would like to apologise to the court.”

The hearing was also told Mr Malinowski, who has lived in England for the last 12 years, had previously been convicted of drink-driving and disqualified from driving in 2008.

Warning the defendant that this was his last chance, Judge Lacchar sentenced him to four months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

“If you commit any other offence similar to this you will be going to prison,” she said.

“You are that close to prison.

“It’s about time you addressed your alcohol problem, because clearly there is one.”

In addition to the driving ban, Mr Malinowski was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

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