Former soldier escapes driving ban after admitting failing to supply breath test to police

TEST: John Collins appearing at Bournemouth Magistrates Court

TEST: John Collins appearing at Bournemouth Magistrates Court

First published in News
Last updated
by

A FORMER soldier who served in Iraq and Sierra Leone has escaping a driving disqualification after admitting failing to supply a breath test to police.

John James Collins, of Archdale Close in Bournemouth, was arrested in the early hours of New Year’s Day following a rowdy house party.

Police had been called to the party earlier that evening, and decided to take the 35-year-old home as he was drunk.

However, a short time later, they received another call urging them to return to the venue, and spotted Collins’s car outside.

Realising he had returned to the gathering, officers decided to arrest him and took him to the police station for tests to ascertain how much he had drunk.

But despite attempting to use the breathalyser four times, Collins was unable to provide a reading. Lee Turner, prosecuting, said that on their return to the party, officers “found a vehicle outside parked at an angle.”

He added: “It was warm and the car was insecure.

“They found the defendant inside the property, still drunk, and suspected he made his way back to the party in the vehicle. Nobody saw him driving. He was taken into custody, where he failed to provide two specimens of breath and was charged with having no reasonable excuse for that.”

Robert Renshaw, mitigating, said Collins, who now works at DigitalAir Wireless in Poole, had become anxious when his partner Helen “severely” injured her hand during the party.

“He tried four times to blow into the machine [when breathalysed],” he said.

“This is a man who has a blameless record and no previous convictions, as well as a clean driving license.”

Collins, who wore a grey suit to the court, served in the British Army’s Parachute Regiment.

He was deployed around the world during his service.

Magistrates fined him £290 in total and endorsed his driving licence with 10 points after he admitted the single charge at court in Bournemouth.

Comments (19)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:27am Fri 7 Feb 14

rjm201 says...

What? !!! totally unfair! ! anyone else would have got done for that. He looks really cocky in that picture too
What? !!! totally unfair! ! anyone else would have got done for that. He looks really cocky in that picture too rjm201
  • Score: 23

8:05am Fri 7 Feb 14

Lord gungedin of Ferndown says...

Why do the Police bother!, utterly rediculous.
Why do the Police bother!, utterly rediculous. Lord gungedin of Ferndown
  • Score: 28

8:50am Fri 7 Feb 14

roguetrader666 says...

What bearing does his ex army career have on the fact that he broke the law by drink driving? Small comfort to any relatives if he mowed someone down. What colour shoes did he wear with his grey suit?
What bearing does his ex army career have on the fact that he broke the law by drink driving? Small comfort to any relatives if he mowed someone down. What colour shoes did he wear with his grey suit? roguetrader666
  • Score: 30

8:58am Fri 7 Feb 14

High Treason says...

Blah blah blah. He served here, blah blah, he was worried about Helen who had hurt her hand, blah blah, he was deployed around the world during his service. Blah blah blah.

All of which has nothing to do with being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle.
Hope his insurance goes sky high and that may wipe the smirk of his face.
Blah blah blah. He served here, blah blah, he was worried about Helen who had hurt her hand, blah blah, he was deployed around the world during his service. Blah blah blah. All of which has nothing to do with being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle. Hope his insurance goes sky high and that may wipe the smirk of his face. High Treason
  • Score: 31

9:42am Fri 7 Feb 14

Sir Beachy Head says...

The key thing here is Nobody saw him driving. Not the Police either, most importantly.
I therefore expect that he cannot be charged with drink driving but the lesser charge of being in charge of a motor vehicle whilst unfit through drink or drugs, which does indeed carry a 10 point penalty.

A failure to provide a specimen after being found driving would attract a minimum 1 year ban. I do not think he was or could be charged with that offence as there is no proof he drove. Just an assumption. The law doesn't work on assumptions. It works on proof and evidence.
The key thing here is Nobody saw him driving. Not the Police either, most importantly. I therefore expect that he cannot be charged with drink driving but the lesser charge of being in charge of a motor vehicle whilst unfit through drink or drugs, which does indeed carry a 10 point penalty. A failure to provide a specimen after being found driving would attract a minimum 1 year ban. I do not think he was or could be charged with that offence as there is no proof he drove. Just an assumption. The law doesn't work on assumptions. It works on proof and evidence. Sir Beachy Head
  • Score: 9

9:52am Fri 7 Feb 14

Derf says...

failure to provide is an absolute offence (to which he pleaded guilty to)
failure to provide is an absolute offence (to which he pleaded guilty to) Derf
  • Score: 19

11:02am Fri 7 Feb 14

Tripod says...

"has escaping a driving disqualification " ?
"has escaping a driving disqualification " ? Tripod
  • Score: 9

12:00pm Fri 7 Feb 14

nothingtofear says...

roguetrader666 wrote:
What bearing does his ex army career have on the fact that he broke the law by drink driving? Small comfort to any relatives if he mowed someone down. What colour shoes did he wear with his grey suit?
Exactly Roguetrader. I'm ex-forces but I wouldn't expect to be able to use that as mitigation if I was stupid enough to commit an offence and then be caught, tried and found guilty.

This seems to be a developing trend though. It used to be that being a church goer was often used as mitigation but this seems to have morphed into being an ex or serving member of the Armed Forces.
[quote][p][bold]roguetrader666[/bold] wrote: What bearing does his ex army career have on the fact that he broke the law by drink driving? Small comfort to any relatives if he mowed someone down. What colour shoes did he wear with his grey suit?[/p][/quote]Exactly Roguetrader. I'm ex-forces but I wouldn't expect to be able to use that as mitigation if I was stupid enough to commit an offence and then be caught, tried and found guilty. This seems to be a developing trend though. It used to be that being a church goer was often used as mitigation but this seems to have morphed into being an ex or serving member of the Armed Forces. nothingtofear
  • Score: 11

2:46pm Fri 7 Feb 14

TheDistrict says...

I too am Ex Armed Forces, and I feel that those of us who do keep a clean record are being tarred with the same brush when the likes of the media, and in cases the defendant use the fact they are serving or ex serving Armed Forces. As regard to the law it should not stand, with the exception of having a clean record prior to the offence, whether serving, ex serving or a civilian. When it comes to the law, we should be equal.
I too am Ex Armed Forces, and I feel that those of us who do keep a clean record are being tarred with the same brush when the likes of the media, and in cases the defendant use the fact they are serving or ex serving Armed Forces. As regard to the law it should not stand, with the exception of having a clean record prior to the offence, whether serving, ex serving or a civilian. When it comes to the law, we should be equal. TheDistrict
  • Score: 8

3:49pm Fri 7 Feb 14

winton50 says...

Sir Beachy Head wrote:
The key thing here is Nobody saw him driving. Not the Police either, most importantly.
I therefore expect that he cannot be charged with drink driving but the lesser charge of being in charge of a motor vehicle whilst unfit through drink or drugs, which does indeed carry a 10 point penalty.

A failure to provide a specimen after being found driving would attract a minimum 1 year ban. I do not think he was or could be charged with that offence as there is no proof he drove. Just an assumption. The law doesn't work on assumptions. It works on proof and evidence.
Bah I deride your use of facts in an internet ragefest
[quote][p][bold]Sir Beachy Head[/bold] wrote: The key thing here is Nobody saw him driving. Not the Police either, most importantly. I therefore expect that he cannot be charged with drink driving but the lesser charge of being in charge of a motor vehicle whilst unfit through drink or drugs, which does indeed carry a 10 point penalty. A failure to provide a specimen after being found driving would attract a minimum 1 year ban. I do not think he was or could be charged with that offence as there is no proof he drove. Just an assumption. The law doesn't work on assumptions. It works on proof and evidence.[/p][/quote]Bah I deride your use of facts in an internet ragefest winton50
  • Score: 4

4:04pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Hessenford says...

As much as I hate to see drunk drivers get away with being banned, if no one saw him driving the car then the police shouldn't have attempted a breath test for drink driving as they only assumed he had driven the car there, which he probably did, but there was no proof, he does look smug in the photo though, as though he got one over on the police.
As much as I hate to see drunk drivers get away with being banned, if no one saw him driving the car then the police shouldn't have attempted a breath test for drink driving as they only assumed he had driven the car there, which he probably did, but there was no proof, he does look smug in the photo though, as though he got one over on the police. Hessenford
  • Score: 5

4:37pm Fri 7 Feb 14

allopinionscount says...

Sir Beachy Head wrote:
The key thing here is Nobody saw him driving. Not the Police either, most importantly.
I therefore expect that he cannot be charged with drink driving but the lesser charge of being in charge of a motor vehicle whilst unfit through drink or drugs, which does indeed carry a 10 point penalty.

A failure to provide a specimen after being found driving would attract a minimum 1 year ban. I do not think he was or could be charged with that offence as there is no proof he drove. Just an assumption. The law doesn't work on assumptions. It works on proof and evidence.
Derf has summed it up. The law states that during the course of an investigation he / she fails to provide it is an absolute offence. However it is at the Courts discretion as to the penalty and this does not always include a ban. But keep trawling the internet for your 'facts'.
[quote][p][bold]Sir Beachy Head[/bold] wrote: The key thing here is Nobody saw him driving. Not the Police either, most importantly. I therefore expect that he cannot be charged with drink driving but the lesser charge of being in charge of a motor vehicle whilst unfit through drink or drugs, which does indeed carry a 10 point penalty. A failure to provide a specimen after being found driving would attract a minimum 1 year ban. I do not think he was or could be charged with that offence as there is no proof he drove. Just an assumption. The law doesn't work on assumptions. It works on proof and evidence.[/p][/quote]Derf has summed it up. The law states that during the course of an investigation he / she fails to provide it is an absolute offence. However it is at the Courts discretion as to the penalty and this does not always include a ban. But keep trawling the internet for your 'facts'. allopinionscount
  • Score: 3

5:38pm Fri 7 Feb 14

HRH of Boscombe says...

What has being a former soldier got to do with anything?
What has being a former soldier got to do with anything? HRH of Boscombe
  • Score: 0

8:13pm Fri 7 Feb 14

hooplaa says...

Looks like a cheesy tosser! Should have been banned, not gone on about his stupid history and girlfriends hand being cut! Hope he gets caught red handed next time, the Police have let us down on this one, they could have investigated it more to secure a drink drive conviction. So much for no excuses!
Looks like a cheesy tosser! Should have been banned, not gone on about his stupid history and girlfriends hand being cut! Hope he gets caught red handed next time, the Police have let us down on this one, they could have investigated it more to secure a drink drive conviction. So much for no excuses! hooplaa
  • Score: 2

8:38pm Fri 7 Feb 14

afcdibby says...

Sir Beachy Head wrote:
The key thing here is Nobody saw him driving. Not the Police either, most importantly.
I therefore expect that he cannot be charged with drink driving but the lesser charge of being in charge of a motor vehicle whilst unfit through drink or drugs, which does indeed carry a 10 point penalty.

A failure to provide a specimen after being found driving would attract a minimum 1 year ban. I do not think he was or could be charged with that offence as there is no proof he drove. Just an assumption. The law doesn't work on assumptions. It works on proof and evidence.
Exactly.
[quote][p][bold]Sir Beachy Head[/bold] wrote: The key thing here is Nobody saw him driving. Not the Police either, most importantly. I therefore expect that he cannot be charged with drink driving but the lesser charge of being in charge of a motor vehicle whilst unfit through drink or drugs, which does indeed carry a 10 point penalty. A failure to provide a specimen after being found driving would attract a minimum 1 year ban. I do not think he was or could be charged with that offence as there is no proof he drove. Just an assumption. The law doesn't work on assumptions. It works on proof and evidence.[/p][/quote]Exactly. afcdibby
  • Score: 2

9:37pm Fri 7 Feb 14

lizawake says...

Why was partner "Helen" left at the party with a hand injured so badly hospital treatment was required? Were the attending police officers qualified first aiders? Why take a man to a house that was not his own? He could have had no right to be there on his own. The whole affair was mismanaged from start to finish. We all make mistakes; I am sure John (who looks taken by surprise rather than "cocky") will learn from his
Why was partner "Helen" left at the party with a hand injured so badly hospital treatment was required? Were the attending police officers qualified first aiders? Why take a man to a house that was not his own? He could have had no right to be there on his own. The whole affair was mismanaged from start to finish. We all make mistakes; I am sure John (who looks taken by surprise rather than "cocky") will learn from his lizawake
  • Score: 3

1:51am Sat 8 Feb 14

billd766 says...

Theoretically if your car was parked at an angle, and was warm, you were in the garden of your own house with the keys to the car in your pocket, you too could be charged with being drunk in charge of a vehicle if you had been drinking.
The same would apply if you are on holiday with a caravan or in a motorhome.
If the police suspect but cannot prove you did the deed, like the guy above, you too could have your day in court.
Theoretically if your car was parked at an angle, and was warm, you were in the garden of your own house with the keys to the car in your pocket, you too could be charged with being drunk in charge of a vehicle if you had been drinking. The same would apply if you are on holiday with a caravan or in a motorhome. If the police suspect but cannot prove you did the deed, like the guy above, you too could have your day in court. billd766
  • Score: 5

3:59pm Sun 16 Feb 14

Bandit3 says...

Every body else would have got an automatic ban for refusing a breath test, seems very Strange that this man got away with !
Every body else would have got an automatic ban for refusing a breath test, seems very Strange that this man got away with ! Bandit3
  • Score: 1

6:21am Wed 26 Feb 14

Letcommonsenseprevail says...

rjm201 wrote:
What? !!! totally unfair! ! anyone else would have got done for that. He looks really cocky in that picture too
Yes, he looks cocky. He therefore must go to prison for the rest of his life.
[quote][p][bold]rjm201[/bold] wrote: What? !!! totally unfair! ! anyone else would have got done for that. He looks really cocky in that picture too[/p][/quote]Yes, he looks cocky. He therefore must go to prison for the rest of his life. Letcommonsenseprevail
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree