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Sleeping driver is fined for being over the limit

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: January 07, 2014

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A DRIVER was left to sleep in his car after a few drinks down the pub because he was being ‘argumentative’ towards his girlfriend, a court has heard.

Jonathan Milward, of Podmore View, Rocester, admitted being in charge of a black VW Golf in Denstone Village Hall car park, off Oak Road, on December 8 with 81 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Emma Thompson, prosecuting, told Burton Magistrates’ Court that the 26-year-old had been picked up from the Red Lion, in Denstone, by his partner Jodie Benzies after a few drinks with friends and family.

However, he became argumentative in the car and Ms Benzies had ‘had enough’ so she left him abandoned in the car so that he could sleep off the alcohol.

She left him in the passenger seat with the engine running.

A neighbour of the village hall heard the engine running and called the police.

When an officer arrived he found Milward asleep in the drivers seat of the vehicle and tried to wake him by banging on the windows and boot.

The officer finally managed to wake Milward and he was given a road side breath test which found him to be under the influence of alcohol.

In police interview Milward told officer he had drunk four pints in the Red Lion and the next thing he can remember is being in the police car.

He said he was ‘quite concerned’ he could not remember anything that had happened the previous night.

Mrs Thompson added that Milward had previous convictions but not for driving offences and the last time he was in court was in 2009.

Sukhi Ark, defending, said: “The circumstances were that he went out with friends and family and had no intention of driving home which is why his partner collected him.

“He was being argumentative so she decided to leave him in the car park.

“He was in the passenger side of the car and does not know how he got in the drivers seat.

“My client was interviewed and showed remorse for what had happened although he cannot remember much else.

“I would ask you not to disqualify him as he had no intention of driving. He had an argument with his partner so she left him in the car half a mile from their home to sleep it off.

“He is employed with four dependent children so if he lost his licence he would have difficulty getting to work as he works shift patterns.” Magistrates fined Milward £265 with £85 court costs and £26 victim surcharge.

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