Coach drivers three year ban for drink driving after passengers notify police

13 January 2011

A 52 year old Coach driver gets three year ban for drink driving.

Patrick Joseph Burke was banned from driving for three years yesterday (12 January) after being caught by police on the A64 on 5 December.

Burke from Cheadle in Cheshire was driving a 50-seater coach on a return trip to Bolton after taking passengers on a Christmas shopping trip to York.

The passengers became concerned by his erratic manner of driving and called the police. Burke hit the central barrier and weaved across the road before bringing the coach to stop at Bilborough Top. He was found to have 63 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, almost double the legal limit. He was also charged with failing to report a collision and driving without due care and attention.

He was banned from driving for three years and ordered to carry out 300 hours unpaid work. He was not fined.

Traffic Sergeant Hamish Halloway said it was one of the worst cases of drink driving he had seen with potential for horrific consequences. He praised the actions of the passengers. He said: “In my 18 years as a police officer this is one of the worst cases of drink driving I have encountered with potential unthinkable consequences. “The passengers put their trust in Burke, a professional coach driver, but he chose to put the lives of both adults, children and other road users at significant risk. “Without the quick thinking actions of some of the adult passengers on the coach, the return journey to Manchester could have had far more serious consequences. Mr Burke’s actions can only amount to disgraceful.” He added: “The Christmas drink drive campaign may have finished but drink and drug driving remains a priorty for North Yorkshire Police and anyone caught breaking the law could find themselves in the same position as Mr Burke.”

North Yorkshire Police’s Christmas drink and drug drive campaign saw over 4,000 drivers breathalysed, 81 people arrested and 11 banned before Christmas.

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