Driving ban for dozing man

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A MAN twice the limit found slumped behind the steering wheel of a parked car claimed he had not been driving it, Pennine magistrates were told.

The court had heard how Rizwan Ali Asghar, who has a previous conviction for excess alcohol, told officers he just wanted a rest. The engine was running and the car was said to have been involved in an accident.

The defendant was to claim his friend had been driving, but had parked up the car and gone home and he had moved across from the passenger seat into the driver’s seat.

Asghar (28), of Halifax Road, Brierfield, had originally been accused of drink driving, but admitted being in charge of a vehicle when above the alcohol limit. He was fined £300 with a £15 victim surcharge and £55 costs and was banned for a year.

Chairman of the Bench Mr Michael Sagar told the defendant there was a “high likelihood” he was the driver. Mr Sagar said : “I must say that I have heard of cases where the driver moves into the passenger seat, but I have never heard of a case where a passenger has moved into the driver’s seat.”

Mrs Alex Mann (prosecuting) said police went to Montague Street, Brierfield and found the car with a bit of accident damage. They had not seen the defendant driving it.

Asghar was the only person present, was in the driver’s seat and appeared to be asleep. Officers took the keys from the car and managed to speak to him. He told them: “ I am OK. I just want a rest.”

Mrs Mann said the defendant gave a test and the lowest sample showed 70 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Mr Keith Rennison, for Asghar, said he had been out in Manchester with his friend and they had returned to Brierfield.

The defendant had been dozing in the passenger seat and his friend had parked up and said he was going home. The solicitor said: “He moved across into the driver’s seat and continued to doze.”