South Shields dad caught drink-driving turned down chance to reduce ban

A dad banned from the roads for drink-driving turned down the chance to have his disqualification reduced.

Saturday, 16th October 2021, 4:55 am
He was stopped after police received a report of a potential drink-driver.

Christopher Slesser, 32, of Wear Court, near Boldon Lane, South Shields, told a court his ban would make life difficult for his children.

But he then rejected an option to make it easier – by turning down the chance to sit a disqualification-reducing driving awareness course.

Slesser got behind the wheel of his Vauxhall Astra while almost twice the limit in Primrose Avenue, South Shields, on Sunday, August 29.

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For that offence, he was handed a 17-month disqualification which will keep him off the roads until March 2023.

And he then turned down a court offer to sit a self-paid educational programme which would have dropped his ban by a quarter on successful completion.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court how events unfolded.

He said: “The police received a report of a potential drink-driver, and they saw Mr Slesser.

“He has the key to the car. He is at first a little bit uncooperative but when he gets to the police station, he accepts that he has to provide a sample.

“In interview, he accepts that he has been drink-driving.

“There are some things on his record but nothing for six years and before that it’s nine years. There is nothing for driving.”

A breath test showed 64mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of blood. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Slesser, who defended himself in court, admitted his ban would make life difficult for his three children.

He apologised for his actions, and told the court it was out of character for him to behave in that way.

He said: “I’m sorry for what I’ve done.

“It’s out of character, I don’t normally drink. I have to pay for it, I know.

“I’ve three kids who need to get to school. I’ll take it on the chin.”

Magistrates also fined Slesser £120 and he must pay £85 court cost and a £34 victim surcharge.

After sentencing, Neil Jackson, chair of the bench, offered Slesser the opportunity to take a drink-driver rehabilitation course.

After consideration, Slesser refused the invitation.

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