Man given suspended jail sentence for dangerous driving and drink and drug driving in Ufford
A 25-year-old drink and drug driver has been given a suspended prison sentence and banned from driving following a head-on road traffic collision in Ufford last year.
Benjamin Berry, formerly of Wickham Market, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court today, Friday 26 April, where he was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment suspended for 18 months and disqualified from driving for three years, after which he will be required to take an extended re-test.
He was also given a 12-month alcohol treatment requirement, a three-month curfew order and a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement.
Berry had previously pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, drink-driving and drug-driving at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 5 March.
The charges relate to a three-vehicle collision which occurred at around 5.55pm on Thursday 29 November on the B1438 Yarmouth Road in Ufford.
Berry was driving a Toyota Corolla in the direction of Melton when he overtook a vehicle, swerved back in front of it, then attempted to overtake a Saab 9-3 Vector, which resulted in his vehicle having a head-on collision with a Dodge Avenger travelling in the opposite direction. Berry’s vehicle then rebounded off the Dodge and struck the side of the Saab.
Fortunately neither the driver of the Dodge, or the driver or two passengers of the Saab suffered any serious injuries as a result of the collision. Both their vehicles sustained significant damage.
Berry failed a roadside breath test, providing a reading of 80 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, which is more than twice the legal limit. He also failed a roadside drug wipe, providing a positive indication for cannabis.
The results of the blood tests provided by Berry confirmed he was twice the legal limit for alcohol. He was also found to be twice the drug-driving limit, having five microgrammes of the primary component of cannabis in his blood, with the legal limit being two microgrammes.
PC Byron Hearsum, of the Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: “Benjamin Berry showed complete disregard for the lives of other road users - and himself - when he got behind the wheel of a car on the day of the collision.
“He was twice both the legal limit of alcohol and cannabis which is dangerous enough in itself, but combined with his erratic driving - which can be seen in the dash cam footage captured by another vehicle - it was a combination destined to end badly.
“It is incredibly lucky that no one was seriously injured as a result of the collision as it could have been far worse. His actions were idiotic in the extreme and he now has a prison sentence hanging over him should be convicted of any other crimes in the near future.
“Drink and drug driving is one of the ‘fatal four’ offences which makes people more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a collision; alongside speeding, using a mobile phone and not wearing a seatbelt.
“Enforcing these offences is part of our daily business in the Roads and Armed Policing Team and we all believe passionately in catching those people who are prepared to risk lives and we will continue to work to make our roads safe for all users.”