Rushden pensioner caught drink driving after concerned passer-by phones police

Northampton Magistrates Court
Northampton Magistrates Court

A 71-year-old caught drink driving at more than three times the legal limit and with a flat tyre has been sentenced at court.

David Coleman, of Higham Gate, Rushden, was caught more than three times over the limit on November 25 last year on the A45 near Irchester.

His car had hit a pothole while he was on the way to the Gardener’s Arms, where he said he had lunch and one glass of red wine before getting into his car to red Kia home.

Magistrates sitting in Northampton heard how, in High Street, Irchester, a female motorist had stopped him to tell him he had a flat tyre. She asked him if he’d had a drink. He admitted he had and went to drive off. Concerned, she followed him in her own car on to the A45 towards Little Irchester

Coleman, who the court heard had worked for Kodak for 40 years and had no previous convictions, was seen ‘swerving his car from side to side’.

The court was told he was trying to ‘nurse’ his car, which was not in a roadworthy state, home.

He pulled up in the BP service station at Little Irchester and the police, who had been called by the concerned motorist, arrived. He had walked off along the A45, followed by the woman, and the police caught up with him about half a mile away.

A roadside breath test showed that Mr Coleman had 111 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 ml of breath - more than three times the legal limit of 35 microgrammes.

He told police he’d had one glass of wine with lunch but admitted he’d also been drinking the night before.

In mitigation, the court heard that Coleman had not realised the extent of the damage to his car caused by the pothole. He had no previous convictions and had had a bereavement before the offence that had caused his drinking to increase. He had now significantly cut down his drinking.

Magistrates banned Coleman from driving for 23 months and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £35 victim surcharge. He was also offered the chance to complete a drink drive rehabilitation course to reduce his ban by a quarter.

A second charge of dangerous driving was dropped.