A drink driver who was spotted swerving over a road by an off-duty Police Community Support Officer has been jailed and banned from driving.

Ilmars Anufrijevs was found to be nearly five times the legal limit after he was followed by PCSO Richie Pankhurst in Margate in August this year.

The 34-year-old, of Farley Road, Margate, was later charged with failing to provide a specimen, driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance.

He admitted all three charges at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on 14 September 2021 and was jailed for 18 weeks. He will be disqualified from driving for seven years following his release.

PCSO Richie Pankhurst

PCSO Pankhurst, pictured above, was off-duty when he saw Anufrijevs behind the wheel of a Ford Focus with a smashed windscreen in Adisham Way on the evening of Thursday 12 August.

The PCSO called the police and followed him, while providing updates over the phone to call handlers. Anufrijevs stopped the car in nearby Elmley Way, where he got out with a can of beer in his hand.

PCSO Pankhurst’s on-duty colleagues arrived and arrested Anufrijevs after he blew 161mg in a roadside breath test. The legal limit is 35mg.

After he was taken to a police station, Anufrijevs refused to take part in another breath test.

Inspector Ian Swallow, of Thanet Community Safety Unit, said: ‘PCSOs are often called our eyes and ears and, in this case, that applied even when PCSO Pankhurst was off-duty.

‘The evidence he captured after seeing this car being driven erratically left Anufrijevs with no choice but to plead guilty and the result is that this man is now in prison and will be banned from driving for a considerable number of years.

‘I cannot overestimate the dangers of driving after drinking alcohol and urge anyone considering doing so to take a taxi or public transport, get a lift or walk.’

By Ed

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