Exmouth drink driver who asked police to fix puncture gets banned

PUBLISHED: 10:03 28 June 2018

Exeter magistrates court. Picture: Terry Ife

Exeter magistrates court. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

A drink driver was caught by police at their own HQ - after he flagged down a motor patrol officer to help him change his burst tyre.

Jason Clarke suffered the blow out in his car outside the Devon and Cornwall police headquarters just before 11pm one night two weeks ago.

A security guard helped him reverse to the side of the road so he could change the tyre.

But Exeter magistrates court heard that the 44 year old then flagged down the officer who smelt liquor on his breath.

Clarke was breath-tested and gave a reading of 40mg of alcohol - the legal limit is 35mg.

He was arrested and on the trip into custody he admitted drinking a couple of pints of lager ‘with my mate’.

Clarke said he was hungry and drove but had the blow out and told officers ‘I should have had a shandy’.

The court heard he has three previous convictions for drink driving in 1997, 2002 and 2006 when he was going through a series of personal tragedies, said defence lawyer Rachel Smith.

She said: “He thought he would be okay and was just teetering over the limit. He flagged down the police officer to assist him. It was quite unfortunate.”

She said homeless Clarke had been sleeping in his car in Exmouth and was a man in ‘absolute desperation’ and was about ‘to be at rock bottom’ again.

The magistrates banned him from driving for a year and fined him a total of £150.

The JP chairman said: “The beers are a little bit stronger than they were ten years ago. It is unfortunate but you were still over the limit.”

And Clarke, who admitted drink driving, was warned not to sleep in his car if it is parked on a public road because he would be committing another offence now that he is banned.

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