Off-licence tip-off helps police snare Buxton drink-driver who was double the limit

High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.
High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.
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Staff at a Buxton off-licence tipped off police to a suspected drink-driver who was nearly three times over the legal alcohol limit.

High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard how staff at Bargain Booze, on High Street, refused to serve Simon Edward Stainer on New Year’s Eve as he smelt strongly of alcohol.

Jennifer Fitzgerald, prosecuting, said they believed he was in an unfit state to drive and alerted officers, who found the 38-year-old defendant standing next to a car on Bennett Street.

“At that time he was dazed and unsteady on his feet,” said Ms Fitzgerald.

Stainer, who admitted drinking four shots, was carrying a bottle of coke and a bottle of Sainsbury’s brand vodka.

The defendant initially denied he had been driving, but CCTV footage revealed he had driven to Bargain Booze and then on to Sainsbury’s.

Stainer, who blew a reading of 94 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit is 35 - pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol. He had two relevant convictions on his record, dating back to 1999 and 2011.

Magistrates heard Stainer had expressed remorse for the offence, stating he made the decision to drive as he was unsteady on his feet and needed the alcohol.

Ian Baker, defending, said Stainer was an alcoholic and his issues with drink had led to other health problems.

“He is desperate to go into a rehab unit and some moves towards that will be made,” he said.

Mr Baker added Stainer had already sought help prior to the incident to address his alcohol consumption.

Stainer was given a 12-month community order, with a rehabilitation activity requirement and a six-month alcohol treatment requirement.

He was banned from the road for 40 months and ordered to pay £265 in fines and costs.