Three-year ban after motorist stopped by police

A motorist who was reported as driving ‘erratically’ by a concerned member of the public has been banned from the roads for three years after failing to cooperate with police.

John Grote was pulled over on February 22 after a driver called police saying she had followed a car from Seaford to Eastbourne and had concerns the driver was under the influence or unwell. Eastbourne magistrates heard that when an officer spoke to the 56-year-old he smelt strongly of alcohol and had glazed eyes. He was asked to provide a specimen of breath for analysis but failed to do so.

Grote, of The Crescent, pleaded guilty to failing to give a specimen of breath.

Andrew Whelpton, defending, said his client had previously gone on a six month detox programme and suffered from chronic depression. He added, “He has pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity. He has not given a specimen of breath and he accepts he had no reasonable excuse to do so. He told me he was stopped in the afternoon. The evening before he had been drinking alcohol and he had stopped drinking at 3am. When he is stopped by police he has refused. He was upset he was stopped by police. He didn’t think he was over the limit. He is unemployed at the moment, he is a ground worker and is finding it difficult to find work.”

Magistrates asked for a report from probation which explained he admitted being a problematic drinker and had previously undergone alcohol detox and engaged with Action for Change. It added, “Unfortunately he’s still drinking on a daily basis.”

Grote, who has a previous conviction for drink driving, was given a three-year driving ban. He was also given a community order with six months’ supervision and a alcohol treatment requirement for the same period. He must also pay a £60 victim surcharge.