Lakenheath airman convicted of drunken driving at over three times the lawful limit
By CHRISTOPHER DENNIS | STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 7, 2020
MILDENHALL, England — An RAF Lakenheath airman was convicted in a U.K. court of drunken driving at more than three times the legal alcohol limit.
Staff Sgt. Justin Alexander, an aircraft mechanic for the 48th Fighter Wing, was ordered to pay 175 pounds in court costs and fines, must work 100 hours of community service and was banned from driving for 26 months on Jan. 31, according to the Ipswich Magistrates Court.
Alexander was found drunk behind the wheel of a rented Honda Accord in Mildenhall, the East Anglian Daily Times reported.
Police found the crashed vehicle on the opposite side of the road, with three tires destroyed, damage to the wheel well and front bumper, the local newspaper reported.
A test registered 115 micrograms of alcohol content per 100 milliliters of breath, which is equivalent to a .26% blood alcohol content under English law. The legal limit for drinking and driving in England is .08%, and .05% in Scotland.
The 48th Fighter Wing declined comment on any further disciplinary actions.
U.S. driving habits came under scrutiny in the U.K. in August, when Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a U.S. diplomat, drove on the wrong side of the road near RAF Croughton and struck motorcyclist Harry Dunn, 19, who died from his injuries. Sacoolas claimed diplomatic immunity and flew to the U.S., which has spurred continuing protests near the base.
Drunken driving among U.S. service members was significantly down last year at Lakenheath, which hosts about 4,000 U.S. service members, according to military figures.
There were five on-base and 15 off-base cases of Lakenheath U.S. service members drinking and driving in 2019, which is down from eight on base and 28 off base in 2018, 48th Fighter Wing spokeswoman Capt. Miranda Simmons said.
“We take driving safety very seriously and continue to emphasize to our Airmen the importance of having a plan on how to get home when consuming alcohol,” Col. Will Marshall, 48th Fighter Wing commander, said in an email to Stars and Stripes.