Two-year road ban for retired medical professor who admitted drink-driving

High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.
High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.

A Buxton man who struck two parked vehicles as he was driving down Burlington Road has been banned from driving for two years after he was found to be over the drink-drive limit, a court heard.

John Cooper, prosecuting at High Peak Magistrates’ Court, said at about 1pm on August 12, Graham Ramsay, 60, had driven his Audi Q3 from his home, on St John’s Road, to go to the shops.

But as he was travelling down Burlington Road he clipped the wing mirror of a Land Rover and collided with a box van.

Mr Cooper said police were contacted by a friend of Ramsay’s, also a taxi driver, who had called to collect him following the accident.

He had taken the defendant to Sainsbury’s to pick up some shopping and had called police while his friend was inside the store.

When police arrived at Ramsay’s home he was unsteady on his feet and unclear about what had happened.

He told police he had consumed a glass of wine after returning home, Mr Cooper said.

When interviewed, Ramsay said he had swerved to avoid a HGV that was travelling towards him.

The court was told that analysis was carried out which stated that at the time of the accident, Ramsay’s breath alcohol level would have provided a reading of 100 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit is 35.

Ramsay, of St John’s Road, admitted drink-driving after initially denying the offence.

Kirsten Collings, defending, said when Ramsay returned home it emerged he had drunk more than he thought following the accident.

An expert report was sought on behalf of the defence which revealed that at the time of the collision, Ramsay would still have been over the limit, and her client had then changed his plea.

She said Ramsay had worked as a professor of intensive care medicine in the Netherlands before moving to London and then retiring and settling in Buxton.

In addition to the driving ban, Ramsay was given a 12-month community order with 120 hours’ unpaid work.

He was given the option of reducing his ban by completing a drink-driver rehabilitation course.

Ramsay must also pay court costs and a surcharge totalling £680.