A teenager banned from getting behind the wheel for twelve months after being caught drink-driving in a McDonald’s car park has had his conviction overturned.
Kyle Andrew Siddle, then 17 years old, was arrested following a minor collision in the Rawtenstall McDonald’s car park. He was found to be over the drink-drive limit.
The conviction has been quashed at Burnley Crown Court, however, as the judge heard that Siddle failed the breath test because he had consumed alcohol following the collision, and wasn’t driving at the time.
Barrister Gwyn Lewis, defending the teenager, explained that the appellant had only consumed one pint of Fosters lager at a pub some thirty minutes before the incident which would not put him over the limit.
He went on to add that Siddle went on to drink 250ml of a non-specified alcoholic mixer from a bottle inside his car before being breathalysed by police.
While the collision itself was captured by CCTV cameras at the fast-food chain, a “jump” in the period where Siddle returned to his car to take the drink meant that there was no footage.
Prosecuting the case, Roger Brown argued that the teenager had consumed “more than just one drink” at the nearby pub, adding that he would have been over the drink-drive limit at the time of the accident and that the only bottle found in the car by police on the day after the arrest was a clear bottle containing water.
On being asked by Mr Brown why he had the drink following the accident, Siddle replied: “I was a bit panicked and a bit stressed.”
Mr Lewis told the court that, despite Siddle’s protestations “I haven’t been drink-driving, I’ve been drinking on the car park”, police offers failed to check his version of events at the time of the collision, nor did they “ask what he had drunk or show what he had been drinking.”
He added that the alcohol consumed immediately after the accident increased Siddles reading to 61mcg alcohol per 100ml blood, almost twice the legal limit of 35mcg.
Siddle added that he had appealed the conviction “to make sure my dad knew I was telling the truth.”
Blackburn Magistrates originally found Siddle guilty of drink-driving last October and banned him from driving for 16 months, along with imposing a fine of £180. This conviction has now been overturned.