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"Why on earth did you drive home?"

Monday 01 February 2021

"Why on earth did you drive home?"


Despite living just a 10-minute walk away, a 51-year-old man decided to drive home after a night of drinking, only to crash his car into a grass verge as he attempted to park.

Paul Lowe was sentenced to two months in prison and disqualified from driving for six years.

At around 23:30 on Saturday 7 November, Lowe decided to drive home from the KGV, despite being drunk. He exited the car park in his white van and came to the attention of a marked police vehicle while driving along Rue Cohu, in the direction of Rue du Friquet. 

Officers noticed that his car "jolted" as he went around a corner and that Lowe was driving very cautiously. They followed Lowe's van into Les Baissieres, where it turned into a gravelled driveway.

While attempting to park, Lowe instead drove onto a grass verge and hit some rocks. 

Officers apprehended Lowe, who smelt strongly of beer, and gave him a breath test, which returned a reading of 132mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath - more than three times the 35mcg legal limit. 

police station

Pictured: Lowe was arrested and taken to the police station, where he took a blood alcohol test. 

Just over an hour later at the police station, a blood test produced a reading of 258mg per 100ml of blood. The limit is 80mg.

Defence Advocate David Domaille said a hefty disqualification would have a significant impact on Lowe's business colleagues and customers. 

Although Lowe had previous driving convictions dating back to 1992 and 2009, Advocate Domaille said his client had been back on the roads for six years since that latest conviction. 

With that record, Judge Gary Perry was astonished that Lowe would take the risk of driving home when he was just half a mile away from home. 

"Why on earth, if he was only a 10-minute walk away, would he drive his vehicle?" he interjected during Advocate Domaille's submission. 

Advocate Domaille replied: "He did not understand why he had made that decision. He understands the risks he posed on the night."

To Judge Perry, the offence was not one of a reformed character who had made a mistake - it was the behaviour of a "habitual" drink driver.

"He doesn't consider anyone else when he gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle," he said. 

Guernsey_Prison_Drink_Driving_Campaign_Van.jpg

Pictured: 2020's drink drive campaign focussed on the potentially fatal consequences of getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. 

Judge Perry said the Magistrate's Court takes drink driving "very seriously" and that Lowe's behaviour had crossed the custody threshold.

"With your appalling record, I cannot see any reason to depart from the Court's normal policy," he concluded. 

With that, Judge Perry sentenced Lowe to two months in Les Nicolles Prison and banned him from driving for a further six years. 

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