Wednesday, 28 Oct 2020

Man accused of drink driving hands judge reference from ale drinkers’ society

A motorist accused of drink driving handed the judge a character reference from his local ale drinkers’ society.

Michael Vinton, 46, was arrested after arriving at work by car smelling of booze on the Isle of Man.

When he appeared in court he handed in a reference from Castletown Ale Drinkers' Society, in a bid to enhance his character.

But the sitting magistrate said the letter, which was not read, did not help his cause.

He was banned from driving for two years, fined £800 and directed to pay £125 prosecution costs.

Vinton was also ordered to retake his test at the end of the ban.

Police were called to an address on the island on September 18 at 5.30am.

Barry Swain, prosecuting, told the court a woman said she had been assaulted by Vinton after an argument at her home.

He then left the property and drove to work at Ronaldsway Aircraft Company, where police found his car, the hearing was told.

Vinton was arrested and failed a subsequent breathalyser test.

It gave a reading of 67microgrammes of alcohol in 100millilitres of breath, almost double the legal limit.

In a police interview, he said the woman was his ex-partner and they had been in the process of splitting up.

He claimed he was upset because she had met another man and he had drunk beer the night before but decided not to go to work.

But after arguing he changed his mind and drove in.

The court heard Vinton, who lives on the island, has a previous conviction for drink driving in 1999.

Kate Alexander, defending, said he "accepts the facts regarding the drink driving" but refuted some aspects of the woman's account.

A charge of common assault relating to that incident was later withdrawn due to the woman not wishing to make a complaint.

Ms Alexander said Vinton may lose his job as a result of disciplinary proceedings and that he's currently sleeping on a friend's sofa.

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