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Drink-driver’s Christmas trip ends in Deeping St Nicholas

A man who was taking a Christmas food delivery to his wife and daughter was ‘devastated’ to discover he was drink-driving.

Andrew Harding (54) was driving his Landrover Discovery on Littleworth Drove, Deeping St Nicholas, when he was stopped by police for exceeding the speed limit on December 19.

He took a roadside breath test, then taken to Boston police station for a second test, which registered 40 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of breath. The legal limit is 35.

The court heard that Harding, a self-employed event planner and decoration specialist, from Northampton, was travelling to visit his wife and adult daughter, who has Down’s syndrome, at their home in Lincolnshire.

In mitigation, Harding said: “I was driving to Lincolnshire to deliver Christmas food. I had had two pints of cider at a work pre-Christmas drink. I had had nothing to eat that day.”

Harding explained that his daughter attended a life skills resource centre near Northampton, where he lives with her during the week and she is happy there and he would not be able to take her to the facility if he were to lose his licence.

He asked magistrates to consider banning him for the shortest possible time to enable his daughter’s care to continue uninterrupted.

Despite discussing the matter for some time, magistrates had to remind Harding that drink-driving carries a minimum one-year ban

Harding was banned for 12 months, fined £233 and ordered to pay £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs. In addition, he will be unable to drive a Motability vehicle for five years from the date of conviction.


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