Lance Corporal Akei Toa held a flawless army record before being found guilty of driving with excess alcohol by virtue of Section 5 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. Blackpool Magistrates heard that he drove his Ford Focus through a red traffic light on Blackpool Bloomfield Road on the 22ndFebruary 2013 at 5.10am. He subsequently provided a positive breath test at 82 mg in 100 ml of breath. The legal limit is at 35. Mr Toa had agreed to act as a designated driver on the evening in question but he did not restrict his drink and acted completely out of character.
The defendant received a disqualification for a period of 18 months and was also fined.
In the circumstances, this was a lenient sentence and the Magistrates must have been impressed by his previous good character. The Magistrates Court guidelines suggest a period of disqualification between 17 – 22 months where the reading is between 60-89 mg in 100 ml of breath. Therefore Toa was at the higher end of the scale and his sentence could have been more severe. It would not have been unusual for this type of case to attract a 22 month ban as the reading of 82 in breath was only just within the brackets of 17-22 months where the reading is between 60-89 mg in 100 ml of breath.
This case highlights the importance of strongly presented mitigation and how it can help to reduce disqualification periods. Our team of expert Road Law Barristers provide exactly this sort of representation, so get in touch if we can help.