M65 drink-driver blamed cough mixture for smash

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A DRINK driver who had had two bottles of wine before he smashed into the crash barrier on the M65 blamed cough mixture for putting him over the limit.

Pennine magistrates heard how Iain Hunter (31), caught out the morning after the night before, told police he had not had a drink for eight hours

He had been taking Adult Meltus for cold symptoms, it contained alcohol and he believed it might have increased his breath test reading.

Hunter had given a sample revealing 58 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 25.

Hunter, of Essex Street, Colne, admitted driving with excess alcohol on June 9th. The Bench, who said his case was a cautionary tale for all drinkers of the perils of getting behind the wheel too soon, fined him £240, with £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge. The defendant was also banned for 14 months.

Mr Bill Maude (prosecuting) said Hunter hit the barrier and ended up on the grass verge. No other vehicles were involved.

Police spoke to him, a breath test was positive and he was taken to the police station. He said he had been drinking the night before, last had alcohol about midnight, but had had some cough mixture and mouth freshener.

Mr Geoff Ireland (for Hunter) said a friend had visited him and Hunter alone had had two bottles of rose wine. He would say he felt perfectly safe to drive and had not had alcohol for eight hours.

Hunter had been heading back to Colne after dropping off his friend in Burnley when a driver in front of him in the second lane slammed on his brakes.

Mr Ireland said: “He swerved to the nearside, lost control of the vehicle and struck the crash barrier.”

The solicitor added Hunter’s £3,000 vehicle had been written off.