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Disqualified driver banned four years

A St George’s man who flipped his car two months after being taken off the road for impaired driving has been banned for a further three years.

Jamal Simmons, 35, pleaded guilty in Magistrates’ Court this morning to driving while over the legal blood-alcohol limit and driving while disqualified.

The court heard that at about 6.20pm on November 15, Police responded to the scene of a single-vehicle collision near the junction of North Shore Road and Vaucrossons Crescent in Pembroke involving a flipped car. An off-duty officer on the scene saw Simmons, whom she knew as her neighbour, climbing out of the overturned vehicle and walking away from the scene.

Officers later tracked down Simmons and, when speaking to him, noticed that his speech was slurred and that he appeared unsteady on his feet. Asked if he had been drinking, he responded: “Yes, I have been, but not like that.”

He was subsequently taken to Hamilton Police Station, where he provided officers with a breath sample. The test revealed that he had 225mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, nearly triple the legal blood-alcohol level of 80mg.

Prosecutor Carrington Mahoney told the court that Simmons was disqualified from driving for 12 months on September 15 this year — exactly two months before the crash.

Addressing the court, Simmons admitted that he had been driving the vehicle, saying that at the time of the crash he was riding home to pick up his girlfriend for her birthday dinner.

However, he said that immediately after the crash he went home and had several shots of rum, which caused his blood-alcohol levels to be higher than they otherwise would have been.

While Simmons said no officers saw him driving the car under the influence, Mr Mahoney noted the off-duty officer reported that Simmons’s eyes were glazed at the scene and that he appeared unsteady on his feet. Simmons responded that he was unsteady because he had just flipped his car.

Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo said Simmons should be grateful that he was able to walk out of the vehicle at all.

“What you did was foolish,” Mr Tokunbo said. “You were lucky to escape the overturned vehicle and not injure yourself or anyone else.”

Saying that Simmons had demonstrated contempt of court by getting behind the wheel, Mr Tokunbo fined the defendant $2,500 for driving while over the limit and another $1,000 for driving while disqualified.

Mr Tokunbo further ordered that Simmons be disqualified from driving for three years, ordering that the term of disqualification run consecutively to the period already in effect, essentially banning him from driving all vehicles until September 2018.