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SMIRN-OFF TO JAIL

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 17, 2014

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A 55-YEAR-OLD man caught driving while four-and-a-half times over the legal limit in the middle of the day – after knocking back 10 double vodkas the night before - has been jailed.

Andrew Grindlay, of Wetherby Court, Branston, mounted a pavement and hit a road sign on the way back from Sainsbury’s at 3pm on a Sunday afternoon, a court heard.

His solicitor, Neil O’Driscoll (pictured) said he consumed some alcohol that afternoon, but he had also knocked back 10 double vodkas, shots and whiskey at a party until the early hours of that morning.

The purchasing manager, admitted the offence when was caught driving his green Ford Mondeo in Branston, by a member of the public.

Karen Walton, prosecuting: “(The witness) spoke to the driver who he said had slurred speech and suspected him to be drunk.

“The police arrived and said the defendant smelt alcohol and took him to police car and held him as he could barely stand.”

Grindlay’s breath test revealed 166 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Yesterday, Burton Magistrates’ Court heard Grindlay, who has no previous convictions, had been to a birthday party until early Sunday morning and arrived home by taxi.

However, that afternoon, after more drinks, he drove half a mile to Sainsbury’s to get some milk, before being caught on the journey home.

Mrs Walton added: “He couldn’t explain why he drove and only recalls part of being dealt with by police.”

Neil O’Driscoll, defending, said: “He has a clean driving licence and has been driving for 35 years.

“He has never had a parking ticket and has never been before the courts before.

“It really is very sad that this is his first court appearance and it maybe a prison sentence.

“He is in full time employment which he will lose if he goes to prison, as well as his accommodation and income.

“He has given away his car as he knows he will be disqualified.”

Magistrates decided to jail Grindlay saying: “The court would be failing in its duty to protect the public if custody was not imposed.”

They added: “This is an exceptionally high reading which passes the custody threshold. You mounted a pavement and hit a road sign. It demonstrates an unacceptable standard of driving.

“The incident takes place where members of the public were at risk. You made a conscious decision to drive.”

Grindlay was jailed for 16 weeks and banned from the roads for 40 months.

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