A councillor who went to his village pub to celebrate its new owners has been banned from the roads for 12 months for twice failing to give a breath sample at the police station.

Powys County Councillor for Kerry Benjamin Breeze, aged 32, admitted the offence and was ordered by Welshpool Magistrates' Court to pay £1,054 when he appeared in the dock on Tuesday, August 29.

The Welsh Conservative went to The Sarn Inn and had at least one alcoholic drink on the evening of August 11 to show, as the local county councillor, his support for the new owners.

The court heard that Breeze, who said he felt fine to drive, was stopped by police in Sarn after they spotted that he wasn't driving with his headlights on.

When the county councillor got out of the car, officers noted that he was "unsteady on his feet with glazed eyes". A roadside test gave a reading of 52 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – which was more than the legal limit of 35mcgs.


Breeze was later taken into custody where he failed to give two samples of breath and he couldn't give officers a reason why.

Paul Inns, mitigating, told the court that there was no deliberate attempt to evade a reading at the police station but “perhaps the nerves got to him”.

"You may be familiar with The Sarn Inn," Mr Inns said.

"It has new owners. As the local county councillor, he went to the inn to simply show his support to the owners. He intended to have one drink but unfortunately whilst there he met friends and then he had not much more than one but felt fine.

"He was subsequently stopped by the police and was co-operative at the roadside. When he was taken to the police station, he did give an attempt to give breath. It wasn’t a deliberate attempt to evade a reading.

County Times:

"In fairness to him he didn’t try to put forward a dubious explanation. He can’t explain why he couldn’t give a breath test; perhaps the nerves got to him. It wasn’t a deliberate attempt. Three hours after arriving at the station he was under the limit and he was allowed to drive home.

"The inevitable disqualification will cause problems not only to work but also his partner lives in Shrewsbury and she is due to give birth in the next few weeks."

Summing up, Mr Inns said: "It was a not a deliberate attempt to evade a reading and there was no suggestion any high level of impairment when he was stopped by the police."

Magistrates ordered Breeze, of Penborfa, Sarn, to pay a fine of £692 which was reduced from £1,038 becuase of his early guilty plea, a £277 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

Breeze, who has no previous convictions, was offered to complete a drink driving rehabilitation course to help reduce his 12-month driving ban.