Senior DVLA Hit Mercedes At Four Times The Drink Driving Limit
A man who drank a beer as “Dutch courage” before a snooker tournament was later found to be four times the drink-drive limit after hitting a parked car, a court has heard.
DVLA worker Anthony McGinty had spent the night drinking in pubs in Neath before going to the town’s workingmen’s club to play snooker.
But on the drive home he clipped a parked Mercedes car and police were called.
Swansea Magistrates Court heard a subsequent breath test showed McGinty had 139 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit is 35.
McGinty, aged 54, of Thorburn Close, Neath, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol on October 25 when he appeared before magistrates.
The court heard McGinty has worked for the DVLA for more than 30 years and is a senior member of the agency’s criminal intelligence team.
Paul Warren, for McGinty, said his client was a man of previously clean character.
He said the defendant only lived a five minute walk from the Cross Keys pub where he had left his car on the night in question, and “he cannot explain why he decided to drive home”.
The court heard details of a report into McGinty from probation officer Jo Steadman in which the defendant was described as “social drinker” - however on the night in question he had been out with friends in Neath, and had then been invited to play in a snooker tournament in Neath Workingmen’s Club.
Feeling nervous about the match he drank a beer for “Dutch courage” - and “one beer became more”.
The probation officer said McGinty was going through a “very difficult time” following family bereavements, and had described the events of October 25 as “the stupidest and most regretful incident” of his life.
Magistrates told him that given such high breathalyser reading, only a custodial sentence was appropriate in the case.
McGinty was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to complete a nine month alcohol treatment programme.
He was also disqualified from driving for 33 months.
“Once you’ve bagged that number plate – if it’s a good one it adds value to it. Some are iconic and will be sought after. Some of the best are simple but exquisite.”
The biggest went for £180,000 in May last year – for KR15 HNA – which was a new British record for the most expensive current style personalised registration plate.
Today, plates with just one number and two letters cost an estimated £60,000, 20 times more than the early 1990s, when drivers could expect to pay somewhere between £3,000 to £5,000.
A DVLA spokesman said: “Many people enjoy displaying a personalised registration number and the general sale and auctions remain extremely popular with the public.
“Since we began selling personalised registrations we have raised around £2.3 billion and all the money raised is passed to the Treasury.”
Established For Over 25 Years
the Cherished Numbers Guild
- Free transfer service - your paperwork is handled by our trained team
- Over 25 years expertise - long established and trusted company
- DVLA Recognised Reseller - linked directly from the DVLA website
- DVLA Registered Number Plate Supplier - in line with all DVLA & MOT regulations