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Road Safety Volunteer Ignores Own Advice: Receives Drink Driving Ban

A pensioner who volunteers for police road safety has been banned from the roads after being caught drink driving.

Kenneth Higgs, 72, was driving in Northumberland when a witness observed him continually braking and accelerating. She followed him until he pulled over outside a pub and got out of his car.

South East Northumberland Magistrates Court heard that he then walked towards her, shouting aggressively: “I work for an authority which tackles speeding motorists”.

The witness challenged the pensioner, stating that he appeared drunk, at which point he rushed back to his car and drove home.

Police arrested him at his home after a roadside breath test gave a reading of 52mcg alcohol per 100ml breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.

Prosecuting, Eve McDonnell told the court that the incident took place at around 1.30pm on October 11.

“The defendant is driving at 30mph on a road with a speed limit of 60mph,” Mrs McDonnell added. “She [the witness] said he was constantly slamming his brakes on down to 20mph then speeding back up to 30mph until reaching the main street in Seghill, where he pulls over outside a pub called the Blake Arms.

“The witness stops her vehicle as she’s of the opinion something is wrong. He approaches her vehicle, shouting in an aggressive manner, saying he works for an authority that tackles speeding motorists.”

The witness told Higgs “You stink of drink”.

Defending, Stewart Hay said that his client was extremely remorseful and had only consumed two cans of 8% lager prior to driving.

“Mr Higgs volunteers with driving safety and he thought he was being tailgated by the witness,” the solicitor added. “That is why he speeds up and slows down.”

District Judge Paul Currer told Higgs: “It’s a very sad occasion to see a man of your standing in the community appear in court.

“Your ability to drive was impaired. Given you volunteer for Northumbria Police to assist in road safety matters makes your offending even more baffling.”

After he pleaded guilty to drink driving, Judge Currer banned Higgs from the roads for 12 months and imposed a fine of £262. He must also pay £85 costs and a £32 victim surcharge.