Hotel guest is caught drink-driving after he leaves pub car park

The Old Hall Hotel, Hope. Picture: Andrew Roe
The Old Hall Hotel, Hope. Picture: Andrew Roe

A motorist who had been staying at a Peak District hotel drinking pints of beer was caught drink-driving after he drove out of the venue’s car park over twice the legal limit.

James Paul Thomson, 40, had been staying at the Old Hall Hotel, on Market Place, at Hope, when he drove from the hotel car park and swerved to avoid traffic before he allegedly struck another vehicle’s wing mirror, a court heard.

Prosecuting solicitor Neil Hollett told a Chesterfield magistrates’ court hearing on Wednesday, April 25, how Thomson had been drinking for some time before got into his vehicle.

Mr Hollett said: “The circumstances are that staff at the Old Hall Hotel pub had been serving the defendant alcohol for some hours before he got in his vehicle at the car park at the establishment and this was reported to police.

“The vehicle was seen going up Main Street into Hope and was swerving to avoid traffic and it is believed to have hit something and another vehicle nearby had been seen with a wing mirror smashed.”

Mr Hollett added that Thomson returned to the hotel where he was staying and he was arrested.

The defendant, of East Pinfold, Royston, Barnsley, registered 85microgrammes of alcohol in 100millilitres of breath when the legal limit is 35microgrammes, according to the court.

Mr Hollett added that Thomson had consumed six pints of beer according to till receipts.

He pleaded guilty to exceeding the alcohol drink-drive limit after the incident on April 8.

Defence solicitor Kirsty Sargent said he had not known he had clipped another vehicle’s wing mirror and he was happy to sort matters by insurance and compensation.

Miss Sargent added that Thomson who runs his own plumbing and heating business has been forced to take on an apprentice to drive him to jobs in anticipation of losing his driving licence.

She said he has also been having a difficult time after the break down of a relationship, the loss of a family pet and a dispute with a customer who is also a relative.

Magistrates fined Thomson £400 and ordered him to pay a £40 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

He was also banned from driving for 20 months but this can be reduced by 22 weeks if he completes a drink-drive rehabilitation course.