Chip shop owner banned from roads for drink driving
PUBLISHED: 15:00 15 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:03 16 April 2019
A chip shop owner caught drink-driving at almost twice the limit has been banned from the roads for 12 months.
Mark Wilson was moving his partner's car a short distance late at night in Hunstanton, King's Lynn magistrates heard today.
Prosecutor Giles Beaumont said Wilson, 56, was seen by CCTV staff “staggering” towards the Audi TT, which was parked near the Golden Lion.
Police located him and arrested him after he provided a positive roadside breath test. At the police station, the evidential test had risen to 69 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath; the legal limit is 35.
Wilson, who lives above his business Fishers of Hunstanton, in Greevegate, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol on Cliff Terrace on March 22.
In mitigation David Foulkes urged magistrates to give his client the minimum disqualification because of the short distance driven and the effect a ban would have on Wilson's restaurant businesses in Hunstanton and Heacham. He said Wilson and his partner employ 50 people.
“They are members of staff that he ferries around from one [business] to the next,” added Mr Foulkes. “The disqualification is going to make his working life all the more difficult.”
The court was told that Wilson had been drinking during a night out at the theatre and had no intention of driving. Walking home, he saw a van parked next to his partner's car and some males around it were throwing food about, some landing on the Audi.
“It was against that background that he unwisely thought he should move it,” said Mr Foulkes. “It was driven a very, very short distance - about 100 yards. He's driven it a couple of streets to his mother's address, got out and the police arrived.”
Magistrates went outside their sentencing guidelines for the breath test reading and disqualified Wilson for 12 months, which can be reduced with successful completion of a drink-drivers' rehabilitation course.
Presiding magistrate Alan Lusher said: “We take into account the very short distance driven. I'm not sure provocation is the right word but that seemed like a sensible decision to move it out of harm's way.”
Wilson was also fined £400 and told to pay £85 costs and £40 victim surcharge.