Drink-driver 'drank half a bottle of mouthwash'

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By sarahlnewall | Thursday, January 03, 2013, 16:02

PETER Smith said he was over the limit when stopped on December 10 because he had used mouthwash.

Smith said he had used it in his car on the way to relatives who did not like the fact he smoked – and he drank the liquid because he couldn't spit it out.

The 64-year-old, of Bonser Gardens, Sutton-in-Ashfield, admitted he had driven in Ossington Road, Carlton-on-Trent, while he had 64 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 micrograms.

The court heard he had drunk half of a 500ml bottle of Listerine mouthwash between 2pm and being stopped at 9pm.

Margaret-Mary Martin, prosecuting, said: "His speech was slurred, his eyes glazed, and he smelt of alcohol. He failed a roadside breath test, was arrested, and said 'I've only had mouthwash'."

The court heard Smith had drunk the mouthwash while driving to visit his sister and brother.

Ms Martin said Smith claimed he had not drunk alcohol since June 2012, having been treated for an alcohol problem.

She added: "He said the alcohol on his breath would be as a result of drinking the mouthwash.

"I did check and Listerine mouthwash can be between 21 per cent and 27 per cent alcohol, somewhere above a fortified wine in strength."

Smith, who represented himself, said he was "resigned to accept" any penalty imposed.

He added: "I'm determined that nothing like this will happen again."

Smith, who had no previous convictions, was disqualified from driving for 12 months. He was also fined £260 and ordered to pay £85 towards prosecution costs.

Outside court, Smith said: "I'm devastated. The mouthwash was to freshen my breath. I smoke heavily and it upsets my brother.

"I hadn't realised how strong it was."



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