Christmas knees-up leads to road ban for Bolsover man — (Chad)

SSRI Ed note: Man on antidepressants seldom drinks, fails breathalizer test on 2 shandies. Nobody warned him ADs magnify effects of alcohol. Fined & can't drive for 20 mo.

Original article no longer available


Published Date: 22 December 2008   Last Updated: 22 December 2008 2:29 PM

By Staff Copy

A BOLSOVER motorist who was more than double the limit after a Christmas knees-up told a court he thought he had only drunk two pints of shandy.

Police saw a Vauxhall Astra van with its lights switched off leaving Tesco car park in Chesterfield at 4.20am on 11th December.

They followed the car, which stopped on nearby Lockoford Lane. Driver Gareth Griffiths failed a roadside breath test and was arrested.

Chesterfield magistrates were told on Monday that he went on to give a reading of 78mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath, the limit being 35mcgs.

“There had been a Christmas get-together with friends and I am not sure how I was over the limit,” Griffiths told the court.

“I had had a couple of pints of bitter shandy so it’s a bit of a mystery really.

“If I had known I would be over the limit I wouldn’t have driven. I have had a clean driving licence for 26 years and I regret not looking after my drinks a bit more.”

Griffiths (42) of Four Winds, Craggs Close, admitted drink-driving. He had no previous convictions.

Presiding magistrate David Blackburn fined him £115, with £60 costs, and imposed a 20-month driving ban that will be reduced to 15 months if he passes a drink-driving rehabilitation course.

Griffiths, an unemployed sales worker, said he was on medication for depression, adding: “I very rarely drink because of this. I find it doesn’t help with my condition.”

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