Driver was four times the drink limit

First published in News

A FORMER company boss was more than four times the drink drive limit when he crashed his car — almost 11 hours after he had stopped drinking.

Martin Shields crashed his luxury Jaguar into the back of a Citroen at traffic lights in Derby Street, Daubhill, at 12.50pm on December 7, Bolton Magistrates’ Court heard.

A breath test revealed the 42-year-old had 157 microgrammes in 100 millilitres of breath —more than four times the legal limit of just 35 microgrammes.

The court heard Shields, of Shaftsbury Close, Lostock, had stopped drinking at 2am — almost 11 hours earlier.

Anthony Shimmin, defending, said: “He has never been before the court before. He has no previous convictions and is of impeccable character.

“He has had serious changes in his life in the last couple of years. His marriage and business came to an end. He lost his house.

“His coping method was alcohol.”

Following the crash, Shields and the driver of the Citroen pulled into Bolton Retail Park to swap details.

The woman driving the Citroen asked a police officer outside Decathlon for help.

Shields was asked to get out of the car, and the officer smelled alcohol on his breath, saw his eyes were glazed and he was unsteady on his feet.

The court heard that both cars suffered minor damage in the collision, and no-one was injured.

Shields is now working as a mechanic and looks after his daughter. The court heard his wife walked out on them.

But his drink driving was so serious magistrates’ gave him an 18-week jail sentence, suspended for two years. and banned him from driving for three years.

He must also go on the drink drivers course and pay £165 costs.

Throughout December police ran a drink driving campaign to remind people of the dangers of getting behind the wheel after a drink.

Insp John Armfield, Greater Manchester Police's lead on drink driving, said: “Anyone driving after consuming drink or drugs greatly increases their likelihood of being involved in a collision, and the human costs imposed on victims and their families are immeasurable.

“We remind people that any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive. There is no fool-proof way of drinking and staying under the limit “Sobering up tricks do not work and if you have been out drinking the night before you may still be over the limit the next day.

“My message is very simple — if you are having a drink, don't drive.”

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