A FAMILY man has lost his driving licence after a member of the public contacted police when they saw him drinking a can of beer before getting in his car.

Indian national Vinish George Wilson was seen swigging a beer outside a Powys shopping centre and then driving away on January 11 this year.

Police were called and given a licence plate number; tracking the 37-year-old father to his Calcourt Barn home in Caerhowel, near Montgomery, where he failed a breath test and was arrested.

Wilson, speaking via a Malayalam translator at Welshpool Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, February 20, entered a guilty plea to drink driving his Nissan Qashqai on the A489 between Churchstoke and Montgomery.  


Prosecutor Helen Tench said: “Police received a call from a member of staff at the shopping centre in Churchstoke, having seen a male drinking from a can of beer while leaving the store.

“He got in his vehicle then drove away. Checks were made and came back to the defendant; officers went to his address and he answered the door.

“He gave a positive roadside breath test and was arrested. He said initially he had consumed one can of beer after getting home, but later said he drank one can before leaving the shopping centre and had drunk none at home.”

Wilson’s reading was 57 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit is 35 micrograms.

Mrs Tench said Wilson had no previous convictions.

Rob Hanratty, acting for Wilson, said his client’s family would likely suffer financial hardship due to his ban, as he is the only person in the family who can drive.

“He is a married man who lives in a remote location,” said Mr Hanratty.

County Times:

“His wife works in healthcare but doesn’t drive, so the loss of his licence will cause hardship.

“He is worried about whether he can continue working and the school runs need to be undertaken too. This will cause financial hardship.”

Magistrates banned Wilson from the road for 12 months; he can reduce the disqualification by completing a drink drive awareness course.  

He must pay a £250 fine, as well as £85 costs and a £100 surcharge.