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Magistrates ban drink driver over lane crash

By Stroud Life  |  Posted: April 28, 2014

Stroud Magistrates Court

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MAGISTRATES have banned a dad who crashed his car in to an electricity pole while more than twice the drink drive limit.

Gavin Leslie Bartlett’s Kia Sedona hit the pole hard enough to rip off the nearside front wheel, Stroud Magistrates’ Court heard on Monday, April 28.

Graham Dono, prosecuting, said his two daughters were in the car when the crash happened at 11am on Saturday, March 22.

“He drove down Inchbrook Hill in Nailsworth where he hit a wall then an electricity pole which led to the nearside wheel coming off,” said Mr Dono. “A Ben Falconer heard a loud bang and went to look out of the window. Mr Bartlett knocked on his door. Mr Falconer recognised him.

“Mr Bartlett asked for help with the car and with his children. Mr Falconer went out to see the damage, and it appeared that the electricity pole had been struck by the Kia.

“Mr Falconer gave him and his daughters a lift home and in doing so he smelt alcohol on his breath.”

Police attended Bartlett’s home in Hawthorne Ridge, Nailsworth, and conducted a breath test, said Mr Dono.

“He said to officers that he had been drinking wine the night before and drank more before driving,” said Mr Dono. “He denied consuming alcohol after the accident.”

Mr Dono said a breath test conducted at 12.30pm was failed by the defendant, then a later breath test at a police station showed a reading of 92 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

David Adams, defending, said his client, aged 47, was of previous good character and he handed up a letter to the bench which detailed a family bereavement.

“He says it’s something that has never been dealt with,” said Mr Adams, who said he was seeking help on both fronts. “He has had to support his family after that. He has no previous convictions and drank alcohol mainly the night before.”

Bench chairman Stephen Pitt questioned his consumption, given the breath test reading.

“It’s a lot of alcohol before lunchtime,” he said. “We note this was in the morning and you were carrying passengers, and there was an unacceptable standard of driving.”

After reading a Probation Service report, magistrates imposed a 24 month ban which can be reduced by one third on completion of a driver rehabilitation course, 60 hours of unpaid work, and fines and costs totalling £145.

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