Fire service employee loses specialist role after drink-driving offence

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A fire service employee has been fined and banned from driving after he was caught drink-driving.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Friday, July 29, how Mark Franklin, 41, had been followed and stopped by police in South Normanton after they saw him crossing lines in the road.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “Officers were on patrol close at a junction with the A38 and Junction 28 of the M1.

“A Chrysler went on to a roundabout and police received a report that the same vehicle had been driving erratically and they followed it and saw it weave between lines in the road and the vehicle was stopped and pulled over.

“The driver smelled of alcohol and there was a large bottle of lager in the centre console of the car.”

Franklin, of Wensleydale Close, Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, registered 83microgrammes of alcohol in 100millilitres of breath when the legal limit is 35microgrammes.

The defendant, who has a previous conviction for being in charge of a motorcycle while being over the drink-drive limit, pleaded guilty to exceeding the alcohol drink-drive limit after the latest incident on July 8.

Defence solicitor Julie Page said: “Mr Franklin’s previous conviction dates back to 2009 when he was on holiday with his partner and had problems with a bed and breakfast and he was moving to another while pushing his motorcycle.”

Ms Page explained Franklin had been out with friends during July 8 and had returned to his car to sleep because he had felt ill and he made a “gross error of judgement” by choosing to drive.

Franklin works for the fire service in the Birmingham area as a specialist driver, according to Ms Page, but after being caught for drink-driving he is expected to be taking on a new role with the service.

Magistrates fined Franklin £415 and ordered him to pay a £41 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

He was also disqualified from driving for 20 months with an option to reduce the ban by a quarter if he completes a drink-drive course.