Drunk driver convicted after CPS appeal his acquittal

|News, Driving offences

A Lincolnshire motorist acquitted of failing to provide a breath specimen because he was too drunk has been convicted, after his acquittal was overturned at the Court of Appeal.

Michael Camp, 53, from Milton Keynes, was arrested after his driving was noticed to be erratic. He gave a roadside reading of 120 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 ml of breath, then failed to provide a sample of breath at the police station.

His trial at Lincoln Magistrates' Court heard that the reason for not giving a sample was that he was too intoxicated. The court decided that this was a reasonable excuse for not providing a sample and acquitted him. The CPS referred the matter to the Court of Appeal on the basis that this was not a reasonable excuse.

The two judges at the Court of Appeal ruled that the acquittal should be quashed and gave an order that the case should be remitted to Lincoln Magistrates' Court with an order to convict.

At a hearing on Thursday 15 February, Michael Camp was duly convicted of failing to provide a specimen and was fined £180, ordered to pay £200 costs and a £30 victim surcharge. He was also disqualified from driving for three years, which will reduce by nine months on successful completion of a drink drive rehabilitation course.

Karen Thompson from the CPS said: "The CPS referred this case to the Court of Appeal because we firmly believed that voluntary intoxication through alcohol should not constitute a reasonable excuse for failing to provide a sample of breath. We put forward a compelling argument to the Court of Appeal and they have agreed that Mr Camp’s acquittal should not stand.

"Driving when drunk is extremely dangerous and can put lives at risk. For the CPS, prosecuting those who decide to drink and drive is an important way to make our roads safer for everyone."

Notes to editors

  • Karen Thompson is Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS East Midlands
  • The original decision to acquit took place following a trial at Lincoln Magistrates' Court on 16 February 2017. The CPS appealed the decision by way of a Case Stated. The appeal was heard on 14 November 2017 at the Court of Appeal.

Further reading