Fine paves way for Talke drink-driver to join RAF
TEENAGE drink-driver Joshua Foster has been handed a fine which should allow him to continue with his application to join the Royal Air Force.
The 19-year-old crashed his car when he went to get some food after returning home from his work Christmas party.
North Staffordshire magistrates yesterday heard the Citroen Saxo was embedded into a road sign at Talke crossroads when police arrived shortly after midnight on December 9.
Foster was breathalysed and gave a reading of 106 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – more than three times the legal limit of 35.
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The defendant, of St Saviours Street, Talke, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.
Nicola Bell, mitigating, said Foster had made a very silly mistake. "He exercised a serious error of judgment when he decided to drive," said Ms Bell.
She said Foster, who has two jobs, had a lift to and from his Christmas party.
"The serious error of judgment came later, when he decided to take the vehicle out to get some food," said Ms Bell.
She said the mistake could jeopardise Foster's whole future.
"His whole future rests on the decision made today," said Ms Bell.
She said Foster is half way through the process for joining the RAF.
He has already passed his initial interview and academic test and is due to take his fitness and medical tests this month. He will then have his final interview and should be admitted in March.
But the RAF has made it clear to Foster he will not be able to join if he receives a community order.
Ms Bell added: "He was intoxicated. He does not normally drink. He is asking for some mercy from the court."
Magistrates decided they could step outside the sentencing guidelines and fined Foster £365. He must also pay a £35 surcharge and £85 costs.
And he was disqualified from driving for two years. But the ban will be reduced by six months if he completes a drink drivers' awareness course by April 30, 2014.
The magistrates told Foster he was lucky no-one else was involved in the accident. They wished him success in the RAF but warned him he would not be so lucky if caught drink-driving again.