Lawyer speaks out over ban
A leading criminal defence solicitor told magistrates that banning someone from driving in Lincolnshire is much more severe for that person than if they lived in London or some other city.
David Eager, head of criminal department at law firm Andrew Jay & Co, has been a solicitor for 30 years and was mitigating for Spalding man Michael Edward Paris, 53, of Water Lane.
Mr Eager told magistrates at Boston that Paris would have to cycle 20 miles to work each day, following his disqualification, after admitting driving with excess alcohol after watching an England World Cup match.
The court had heard that on July 11, police were warned that a blue Skodia Fabia had been seen speeding and swerving all over the road and they attended the home address of the registered owner, Paris, where they found him with his parked car at 11.20pm.
Police found Paris with the car keys still in his hand and he told them: “I'm very drunk. I'm a dead man. I'll lose my job.”
He gave a positive breath test with a reading of 84 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than twice the legal limit of 35, and admitted he had drunk 'several pints of cider' while watching the match in a local pub.
Mr Eager said Paris 'cooperated fully with the police', but in asking magistrates to keep the ban as low as they could, criticised national guidelines for magistrates, which mean that similar readings give the same disqualification period wherever in the country that person lives.
“Punishment in Lincolnshire is a lot more severe than for someone in London who can jump on a bus or a 'Boris bike',” he said.
Paris, who had no previous convictions, was banned from driving for 19 months, but was offered the drink-drivers' rehabilitation course, which will reduce the period of the ban by 19 weeks.
He was also fined £470 and ordered to pay £132 in costs and charges.
David Eager was one of the first solicitors in Lincolnshire to qualify as a Higher Courts Advocate and has represented clients in the Crown Court since 2006 on everything from road traffic offences to murder.