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Lunchtime wine led to M4 crash

Porsche driver was nearly three times over the legal limit

John Garvey


01635 886639

Lunchtime wine led to M4 crash

AN alcohol-fuelled lunch led to an accountant crashing his Porsche on the M4.

Derek Ian McAllan, a governor at St Gabriel’s School in Newbury, had drunk nearly three times the legal limit when he was arrested at the scene.

Clare Barclay, prosecuting, told Reading magistrates on Thursday, November 30: “Around 2.30pm, the defendant was driving on the M4 when he lost control of his vehicle and collided with the nearside crash barrier. No other vehicles were involved.

“Police were called. They smelled alcohol on his breath and he failed a roadside breath test.”

Tests subsequently showed 98mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in the 51-year-old’s system.

The legal limit is 35mcg.

Mr McAllan, of Red Shute Hill, Hermitage, admitted driving the Porsche Panamera on the M4 at Bradfield after drinking more than the legal limit on November 14.

He has no previous convictions.

Barnaby Shaw, for Mr McAllan, said his client – an accountant at KPMG in Theale – had been under enormous pressure at work.

He said: “This isn’t the sort of situation he is familiar with.

“He is by nature a cautious and responsible person.

“There is a glowing reference from the headteacher of the school where he is a governor.

“But his is a fairly high-pressured job. He had been working weekends and not taking holidays to which he is entitled.”

On the day in question, the court heard, Mr McAllan had been lunching with a client and carelessly allowed the waiter to keep topping up his wine glass.

Mr Shaw said of the accident: “Quite what happened, he doesn’t know. It was a frightening experience for him, which put other road users at risk. He understands that.

“He appeared so shocked at the police station that they called a doctor and a nurse.”

Mr Shaw said Mr McAllan had been signed off work for a month by his GP and his firm remained fully supportive of him.

A probation officer told magistrates that Mr McAllan took full responsibility for his actions that day and was full of remorse.

He had simply “not been thinking straight”, she added.

Magistrates reminded Mr McAllan of the serious nature of his offence, which had caused an accident on the motorway.

Mr McAllan was banned from driving for 24 months and made subject to a 12-month community order with 100 hours unpaid work requirement.

In addition, he was ordered to pay £85 costs plus a statutory victim services surcharge of £85.

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Article comments

  • Sysiphus's Apprentice

    10/12/2017 - 09:09

    Good to see a school governor setting an example .