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Drink Driving Ban Overturned By Burp

Friday, January 26th, 2007 at 17:07 by Simon Kimber

As drink driving limits have become more strict over the years more and more people are choosing to stay entirely on the soft drinks when they’re going to have to drive themselves home at the end of the evening.

But, if you are going to consume your legally allowed units before getting behind the wheel, it might be advisable to stay off the fizzy stuff as, rather than just being embarrassing, failing to stifle an impromptu burp at an inappropriate moment could get you convicted.

That’s what O Sang Ng, a 46 year old man from Winchester, claims happened to him when he was stopped in his Ford Escort and breathalised, and he’s managed to get a high court judge to agree with him.

At his original hearing Ng was fined £130 and banned from driving for 12 months.  The judge at the time disregarded his wind related protestations saying, somewhat cryptically, that the burp was “connected to the offender and not the offence”.

However, at the High Court appeal Mr Justice Owen said that his inferior district court colleague had in fact “erred in law” and should have allowed the gaseous arguments, thus overturning the conviction.

Tax payers now get to fork out for the magistrates to have another go, this time allowing all the evidence, although, as a direct result of the testimony of the arresting officer, police may now look to pursue a conviction for driving under the influence of pork scratchings and cheese and onion crisps.

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