A KNIGHTON father drove to pick his children up from school, despite the fact he had been drinking alcohol since the morning.

Mihaly Eszlatyi, 41, was more than double the drink drive limit when police stopped the Hungarian national driving his black Kia Sportage in Knighton at around 3pm on May 10, with his wife a passenger alongside him in the vehicle.

Welshpool Magistrates’ Court this week heard that Eszlatyi had been drinking since around 10.30am but “didn’t think” about how much he’d had to drink when his wife came home and asked him to take her to pick their two children up from school.

Eszlatyi told court on Tuesday, June 13, that the family had been experiencing some harassment when the children were walking home from school, and that played a part in why he decided to drive.

Eszlatyi, of Laurels Meadow, Knighton, had previously entered a guilty plea to drink driving. Magistrates had adjourned the case and ordered a pre-sentence report due to the high reading of alcohol.


After being stopped by police on Ludlow Road, Eszlatyi was arrested after a breath test revealed there to be 91 micrograms of alcohol in his system – the legal limit is just 35 micrograms.

“It was just after 3pm when PC Scott saw the defendant driving, with a passenger,” said prosecutor Helen Tench.

“He stopped the defendant, the officer pushed his vehicle in front and spoke to the defendant. He smelt alcohol and the defendant’s eyes were red.

“A breath test was positive and he was arrested. The reading falls just into the third category, giving a range of a low to high level community order.”

She said Eszlatyi had no previous convictions.

Representing himself and speaking via a translator, Eszlatyi told the court: “I deeply regret what I’ve done.

“Respectfully, I would like to ask the court to offer me a drink driving awareness course. I am willing to comply with any order made.”

Probation officer Julian Davies said: “Mr Eszlatyi was not working on that day and had been consuming alcohol since 10.30am.

“He says he usually consumes alcohol three times a week but not to excess, as he works. He drinks more at weekends but doesn’t see his use as problematic. There are no drug issues and he is assessed as a low risk of reoffending.”

County Times:

Chair of the bench, Stephen Pembroke, told Eszlatyi: “We are very concerned that on a Wednesday when you had been drinking since 10.30am, you make a decision to pick up your children from school, not only when they would be at risk but other schoolchildren were at risk at the school.”

They ordered Eszlatyi to comply with a 12-month community order, which will include 10 rehabilitation activity days and 50 hours of unpaid work.

He must also abide by a 3-month alcohol abstinence monitor. He was disqualified from driving for 2 years, but can reduce this by completing a rehabilitation course.

He must also pay a £114 surcharge and £85 costs.