South Shields drink-driver gets ban cut short after court after making the case he is a changed man

A twice convicted drink-driver has won his licence back eight months early – by persuading a court he was a changed man.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 4:55 am
The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.
The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Ross McDougall, 33, of Dacre Street, Chichester, South Shields, was banned in 2015 for driving with excess alcohol.

And he received a three-year disqualification for the same offence, committed in December 2018.

But McDougall pleaded with magistrates in South Tyneside to be allowed to get back on the road ahead of time.

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He told them he had been working offshore for 12 weeks and risked losing work around the world if he could not drive.

Magistrates agreed, and lifted his ban with immediate effect.

However, he still can’t drive, as he must first apply to the DVLA for his licence back.

Prosecutor Marc Atkins said the Crown Prosecution Service did not oppose the early lifting of the ban.

But he told the court: “In December 2018, there was nothing really aggravating about the offence.

“Officers pulled him over, and spoke to him and they suspected that he had been drinking alcohol.

“He was asked to give a roadside breath test, which he failed. He admitted straight away that he had been drinking.”

Mr Atkins said a police station breath test on an evidential CAMIC device showed 42mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath.

The legal limit is 35mcgs.

He added: “The reading may seem like a low reading for a three-year ban.

“The fact was it was due to a previous conviction, and that conviction was for driving with excess alcohol in 2015.

“The three-year disqualification was a mandatory disqualification.”

Under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, people serving a driving ban of less than four years can apply to get their licence back after two years.

McDougall told the hearing: “I’ve served two years and four months of my ban.

“I know the ban was for 36 months, but I’ve secured work as an offshore rigger and need a licence to airports and other places.

“It would just be better all-round if I could get my licence back.

“I’ve done a big milestone in my life. It would be great to get my licence back if I may.”

After being granted his wish, McDougall told magistrates: “I really appreciate that. Thanks a lot.”

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