Lorry driver banned after drink driving whilst delivering beer

A lorry driver has been banned for drink driving, after being found to be over the limit whilst driving a 26-tonne HGV laden with beer.

Traffic officers pulled over 52-year-old Brian Dunn, after suspecting that he was over the limit. The incident, which happened in Manchester, in May this year, has resulted in Mr Dunn losing his job at a brewery which has not been named.

Mr Dunn, who pleaded guilty to drink driving, after being found to have 53mgs of alcohol per 100 ml of breath (the legal limit being 35mgs) told magistrates that although he had been drinking the night before, he had not touched a drop that day.

He was pulled over at around 3pm and admitted to traffic officers that he had been drinking heavily until late the previous night and had then got up early for work the following morning, believing he would not be over the limit.

Jeremy Sirrell, a motor offences expert and partner with Palmers, said: “Sadly this case is not unusual. Many drivers who would not consider driving after a night in the pub, fail to recognise the influence of alcohol on their body the next day, or simply choose to ignore the effects.”

He continued: “Research suggests that people are failing to understand that getting a few hours’ sleep, taking a shower or drinking coffee, does not remove the alcohol from your system – the only thing which will remove alcohol from your bloodstream is time. There’s nothing you can do to speed it up. It is removed from your bloodstream at a steady rate of around one unit per hour, on average, varying from person to person, depending on factors such as size, weight, gender, how much food you have eaten, the state of your liver and your metabolism.”

In a bid to help raise awareness of the risks of drivers clocking on whilst over the limit, Palmers has recently launched a campaign aimed at companies who employ taxi or lorry drivers.

Business owners who employ commercial drivers need to be aware that if a member of their team compromises the safety of others, there are considerable consequences for all concerned.

The penalties for workers found guilty of alcohol related driving offences range from disqualification and fines to hefty prison sentences. Employers could potentially have legal liability and, in a worst case scenario, face a hefty fine or Corporate Manslaughter action if insufficient steps have been taken to demonstrate duty of care.

Jeremy added: “To drive up awareness we have been offering alcohol breath testing kits completely free of charge to hauliers, taxi firms and other organisations who have commercial drivers on their payroll.

“Our solicitors are also able to offer companies the opportunity to update their employment contracts to ensure they are taking account of the latest drink/drug driving legislation.”

To obtain your free breathalyser kit, whilst stocks last, and to find out how Palmers can help keep you and your drivers safe behind the wheel, please contact us.