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Dad drove drunk with kids in car

PUBLISHED: 08:00 02 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:32 08 July 2010

A father was nearly twice the legal drink-drive limit when he drove his children home after taking them out for a meal, a court heard.

A father was nearly twice the legal alcohol limit when he drove his children home after taking them out for a meal, a court heard.

Stephen Clay, 39, of Swaffham, was taking his children back home to Blofield when the car ran out of fuel and broke down on the A47 at Postwick, near Norwich.

Clay and the children left the car by the side of the road and were picked up by a passing motorist, who deposited the youngsters at a pub while Clay went to buy petrol. When unemployed Clay returned to the car with a full fuel can, police were at the scene.

Phil Charnley, prosecuting at Norwich Magistrates' Court, said: “It was about 6.30pm on December 11, during the police's high-profile Christmas drink-drive campaign.

“Officers received reports of a broken-down vehicle on the nearside lane of the dual carriageway which was unattended and locked, with its hazard warning lights on.

“Whilst police attended the scene, the defendant returned with a petrol can. He said the car had run out of fuel after he had taken the children out for a meal.

“He said a passing motorist had picked them up and taken the children to wait at a pub whilst he went on to a garage to buy petrol. Alarmingly, considering the amount he had drunk, he aimed to go and collect the children from the pub and drive them home.”

Mr Charnley said he was arrested and gave a reading of 61mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath; the legal limit is 35mcg.

Clay, of Carter Close, was not repre-sented in court and said in his defence: “I'm just sorry that it happened.”

He pleaded guilty to driving with-out a licence or insurance and while over the legal alchohol limit.

Chairman of the bench Rosemary Salt told him: “Children were in the car whilst you were nearly twice the drink-drive limit. When you returned to your car with the petrol, you still intended to continue your journey.”

Clay was banned from driving for six months and was fined £100 plus a £15 victims' surcharge. No order for costs was made, but his licence was endorsed.

Figures from Norfolk Constabu-lary showed that, in the first two weeks of the festive-season campaign against drinking and driving, 2,560 breath tests were conducted across the county, of which 60 (2.3pc) were positive.

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