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Tennis star banned 12 months for DUI

Two men, including a former sports star, have been banned from the roads for a year for failing to provide samples of breath after being arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.

James Collieson, 38, of Warwick, pleaded guilty in Magistrates' Court this morning to driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and failing to provide a sample of breath for analysis.

The Crown accepted the guilty plea on count two and offered no evidence on count one.

The court heard that Collieson, a former Davis Cup tennis player for Bermuda, was stopped on East Broadway, Pembroke, after police officers observed his red BMW car swerving along Front Street and striking the nearside curb by Supermart on April 26.

Collieson, who turned to coaching towards the end of his playing days and more recently has served as tennis director at Coral Beach and Tennis Club, apologised to the court and explained that he had been out drinking that night.

He added that he should have known better than to drive, having been offered a lift home several times that evening, but that he was thankful that no one was hurt.

Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo fined him $800 and banned him from driving all vehicles for 12 months.

Meanwhile, Jason Simons, 33, of Warwick, was fined $800 and disqualified from driving for a year after he, too, pleaded guilty to driving while under the influence and failing to provide a breath sample.

The Crown offered no evidence on count one.

The court heard that Simons was stopped after police officers observed his white Volkswagen car swerving on Harrington Sound Road in Hamilton Parish on April 22.

The officers noted that Simons's eyes were bloodshot and that he smelled of intoxicants.

When arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, he said: “If you guys are serious about your future, you will take me out of these cuffs. Do you know who I am? I was coming from the Peppercorn Ceremony and I will make a phone call and this will disappear.”

When Mr Tokunbo asked him if he had made the call, Simons replied that the statement had been a lapse of judgment and apologised for his actions, also expressing relief that no one had been hurt.

• It is The Royal Gazette's policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.

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Published April 28, 2015 at 4:07 pm (Updated April 29, 2015 at 1:29 am)

Tennis star banned 12 months for DUI

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