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Drink-driver refused to take taxi

Senior Magistrate Juan Wolffe (File photo by Akil Simmons)

A man racked up the latest in a string of drink-driving convictions after he ignored police advice to take a taxi.

Officers saw Franklyn Pearman unsteady on his feet at a gas station before he rode away on a bike, Magistrates’ Court heard today.

The 39-year-old was found to be more than twice the legal alcohol limit in the incident last month and was reprimanded for repeatedly putting other people at risk.

Senior magistrate Juan Wolffe told him: “On at least six occasions you have risked the life and limb of yourself, but most importantly the rest of the community.

“Who knows how many other times you have done that?”

The court heard Pearman, of Devonshire, had been an alcoholic for 12 years.

He said he was receiving treatment but “had a relapse” and added: “I just had a few drinks.”

Mr Wolffe told the defendant he was “minimising” the offence.

Pearman admitted driving in Pembroke on October 23 while his ability to do so was impaired by alcohol.

Prosecutor Karen King told the court he had 215 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80 milligrams.

She said: “The officers simply saw him walking into the gas station unsteady on his feet.

“They implored him to take a taxi, he said he would.

“He waited a few minutes until they left and then he rode off.”

Ms King told the court Pearman had three offences for impaired driving in 2009, one in 2015 and a “care or control” offence in 2016.

The defendant said he was under treatment at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute and admitted his last drink had been the previous night.

Mr Wolffe warned he could be jailed for up to a year.

He added: “My concern is that if that happens you’re going to come out and not have sorted out your drinking and then get back on a bike again or in a car, drive whilst impaired and seriously hurt or kill yourself or a member of the public.”

The judge ordered Pearman to attend Drug Treatment Court next week and said he hoped it would allow the defendant to “see the error of his ways”.

He added: “If you don’t take advantage of all that is offered to you in drug treatment court then let me make it very clear to you there will be ... dire consequences.”

Pearman was released on $500 bail with ordered not to ride or drive until a further order from the court.

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