A woman has a been given a three-year ban for drink driving - for pushing a car to a safer place after it ran out of petrol when driven by her husband who abandoned the vehicle and went to a nearby Pub.
Mrs Prescott felt she needed to move it to a nearby parking spot as her husband had left it in 'a very dangerous place' a short distance from their home.
The 52-year-old was spotted by police pushing the car to the side of the road. She was breathalysed and charged with drink driving
She was found to have 50 mgs alcohol in 100 mls of breath. The legal limit is 35 micrograms.
She was charged with driving whilst disqualified - having been banned for 28 days for failing to stop after an accident - driving under the influence of alcohol and using a car with no third party insurance.
Frank Rogers Head of the Motoring Prosecution Team at Brown Turner Ross commented:
Firstly, she should not have done what she did given that she was disqualified from driving and that she should have known she was over the limit but, in fairness to her, she probably thought she was doing the right thing and did not, for one minute, think she was committing an offence.
The law is that if you are pushing a vehicle, whether or not the engine is running and, are in control of the steering & have something to do with the propulsion of the vehicle you are "driving."
However, I am surprised that "Special Reasons" were not argued - the criteria for these are
- they are a mitigating or extenuating circumstance
- they do not amount to a Defence in law
- they are directly connected with the commission of the Offence
- they should properly be taken into consideration by the Court
I would have argued that Special Reasons applied because
- it was an emergency as the vehicle had been left in a dangerous position
- she pushed it a very short distance until it was parked in a safe position
- she had no intention of "driving" it any further.
A number of decided cases support me in that view. If Special Reasons had been upheld by the Magistrates she would have pleaded Guilty but avoided being disqualified.
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