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Friday, 01 August 2014

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Cumbria council driver crashed van after drinking

A COUNCIL driver has been banned from getting behind the wheel for two years after crashing his work van.

Ronald Francis Troughton, 58, was in his Cumbria County Council van when he bumped into another vehicle while driving in Ulverston at 8.35am on September 16.

Troughton, who works as a driver in the council’s adult social care team, had drank heavily the previous night to help him sleep and was unable to provide a breath sample to police following the crash.

Troughton admitted failing to provide a specimen for analysis when he appeared before Furness Magistrates’ Court.

A Cumbria County Council spokesman said: “Mr Troughton has been on non-driving duties since his arrest. Following his conviction he will now be subject to the council’s internal disciplinary procedures.”

Mrs Lisa Hine, prosecuting yesterday, told the court a family was driving behind Troughton’s van and thought something was wrong when it rolled backwards towards them at a junction.

On the third occasion it happened, the van hit their vehicle and caused damage to the bumper. He told the family he could not get the van in gear, but they thought he seemed drunk and the police were called. Officers tried to take a breath sample, but on each of the five attempts he failed due to insufficient breath.

Mr Mike Graham, defending, said Troughton was running late for work and did not think of the consequences of driving. He said Troughton, of Waver Court, Rampside, Barrow, was “significantly impaired physically” due to hip and knee replacements and suffered a lot of pain due to arthritis – and drank heavily the previous night to help him sleep.

District judge Gerald Chalk said: “This is a very serious incident because you are a professional driver and clearly you were not fit to be driving.”

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