Driving after wine and four pints ‘a cry for help’
AKEYNSHAM driver has been fined more than £800 for failing to provide a breath test after drinking a glass of wine and four pints of alcohol in a “cry for help”.
Police officers stopped Nicholas Small after noticing that the 53-year-old’s silver Toyota had a flat tyre on October 14.
Prosecutor Lucy Coleman described to Bath Magistrates’ Court how officers saw the car brake sharply, before turning into Lays Drive, the road on which he lives.
The police caught up with the 53-year-old, who was sitting in the driver’s seat with the car keys in his hands. Ms Coleman added that his eyes were glazed and he smelt of alcohol. Officers informed Small they required a specimen of breath and that he had a flat front offside tyre. She added Small was unable to stay on his feet and he was then taken to Keynsham Police Station at 2am.
When given an opportunity to give a specimen, Small said he wanted to speak to his solicitor for advice and refused to give it.
Steve George, defending, said his client was of very good character.
“Mr Small has lost a lot people that are close to him, including friends and family in recent years. This has caused him a great deal of difficulty,” he said.
“He has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. He had had a glass of wine before he left his home and drove less than a mile to a pub in the high street.
“He consumed four pints at the pub. It had not been his intention to drive home but he made the foolish decision to do so.”
Mr George added that Small ‘did not want to drag this out’, which is why he pleaded guilty.
“This was a cry for help but rest assured this cry has been heard. He has gone to significant lengths to address the problem he has got,” said Mr George.
Small pleaded guilty to the charge on October 31.
The magistrates decided to ban him from driving for 14 months, fine him £815 and told him to take the drink-driver rehabilitation course.