Over-the-limit ex-police officer: "I wasn't drunk"

The defendant said he is a former police officer.
The defendant said he is a former police officer.
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An ex-police officer caught over the drink-drive limit wanted a court to give him community service instead of a ban.

Arturas Naidenas looked shocked when the legal adviser at Burnley Magistrates' Court told him a disqualification was not discretionary for the offence and added: "It's the law."

The Bench had been told how the 46-year-old Lithuanian had been stopped at 2.40am after a police officer in Colne saw him driving erratically and swerving over the central line.

The defendant, the only person in the Mercedes, smelled of alcohol and when asked if he had had a drink, replied: "Yes, I have had five beers." Naidenas told the justices he had been trying to avoid a pothole.

He blew 46 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath at the police station. The legal limit is 35.

The defendant, of Bankhouse Road in Nelson, admitted driving with excess alcohol on Burnley Road in Colne last December 17th. He was banned for a year and fined £165, with £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Naidenas, who was not represented by a solicitor, told the hearing he was formerly a police officer in Lithuania and had never been in trouble before.

The defendant, who said he worked in Barnoldswick, added he needed his driving licence to get there. He said: "I wasn't drunk. I just apologise."