Drink-driver dad banned after trying to get daughters home

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A drink-driver who has been banned from the road for 12 months has told how he opted to drive so he could get his two daughters home safely.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Thursday, November 24, how Martin John Etherington, 29, of Scarthin, Cromford, was pulled over by police and he admitted he had been drinking alcohol.

Prosecuting solicitor Ruth Snodin said: “Police spoke to the driver and he smelled of alcohol and admitted he had been drinking and he failed a drink-drive breath test.”

Etherington registered 47microgrammes of alcohol in 100millilitres of breath when the legal drink-drive limit is 35microgrammes.

The defendant, who has previous convictions for driving offences, pleaded guilty to exceeding the alcohol drink-drive limit on Harrison Drive, at Wirksworth.

He told the court: “My partner had been driving up Cromford Hill and there was a noise in the car and the bumper had fallen off.

“I fixed it and my partner was panicked and didn’t feel she could drive and I had my two daughters in the car.

“I just wanted to get my girls to safety and I didn’t think I was over the limit.

“I was wrong but for the safety of my girls I didn’t want to leave my car.”

He added that he had not been speeding when the police pulled him over and he had held his hands up and admitted he had been drinking.

Etherington said: “I evaluated the situation and took in the best interests of my girls.

“And since this I have stopped drinking because if one-and-a-half cans can put me over the limit I don’t want to come back here.

“I was wrong and I was silly but I didn’t think one-and-a-half cans would have made a difference.”

Magistrates fined Etherington £120 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.