A coach driver who was about to take a party of holidaymakers out for the day was found to be almost twice the drink-drive limit, a court heard.
Roy Marklew, from Belper, was found sitting in his driver’s seat with the engine running but told police that he did not intend to drive that morning as he had a bad back.
Magistrates in Prestatyn, North Wales, however, found him guilty of being in charge of the vehicle with excess alcohol. He was banned from driving for six months, fined £360 and ordered to pay £300 costs and a £36 surcharge. Constable Andrew Collis told the court acting on information he went to the Four Oaks Hotel, Llandudno on April 22 and found Marklew in his coach. The engine was running and he was wearing his company uniform.
The officer could smell alcohol on his breath and when he was arrested and was found to have 67 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, the legal limit being 35.
The court was told about 20 guests were gathering in the hotel’s reception for a day’s outing to Snowdonia but when Marklew was arrested the trip was cancelled. Marklew, 54, of Whitehouse Rise, Belper, told the court that he had worked for Chesterfield-based Nova Coach Tours for 12 years but had recently been suffering from sciatica and was taking painkillers. On the morning of his arrest, he said he rang his boss Dave Sheffield to explain he was in such pain that he couldn’t drive and asked for a relief driver to be sent.
Finding him guilty, chairman Dawn Davies said: “No evidence has been provided to support the defendant’s claim.”