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Drink driver allowed to keep licence

Antonio Duke, 48, of Cobbs Hill, Paget, told Magistrates’ Court his licence was essential for his job at a local fencing company — and his boss came to court to plea on his behalf.

The court heard this morning that Duke was stopped on September 23, 2012, at 12.15am, on Court Street in Hamilton, after police noticed his vehicle swerving.

According to Crown counsel Larissa Burgess, officers saw his knees buckling and smelled alcohol on his breath.

Asked if he had been drinking, Duke replied: “Yes, I’ve had three drinks, but I am not drunk.” He was arrested.

The head of the unnamed company pleaded with Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo not to suspend Duke’s truck licence.

She said Duke was a company manager responsible for driving workers around the Island, and that it wouldn’t be possible to replace him.

Mr Tokunbo fined Duke $1,500 and gave ten demerit points, but didn’t ban him from the roads.

The error in the law emerged earlier this week in the same courtroom, when Mr Tokunbo pointed out that a “blunder” in amendments to impaired driving penalties had mistakenly left off the obligatory disqualification term.

Yesterday, Attorney General Mark Pettingill said Government would have to wait until Parliament convenes on May 17 to amend the rules. In the meantime, magistrates are free to use their discretion.

It was the third case reported so far — and all three cases, the defendants said they stood to lose their jobs if they lost their licences.

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Published April 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm (Updated April 25, 2013 at 1:37 pm)

Drink driver allowed to keep licence

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