Drunk HGV driver loses licence

drink drunk keys handcuffs

An HGV driver who drank whisky and then fell asleep at the wheel before colliding with the central reservation, has lost his licence.

Lauri Martel, 40, was arrested by police in a layby on the A1M northbound near Peterborough, after being breathalysed and found to be almost twice the legal drink drive limit. Officers were alerted by the public after Martel’s Scania lorry was seen swerving across the road on the morning of 11 May.

Inside the driver’s cab was a coffee mug containing whisky and coke, as well as an empty whisky and wine bottle which had been discarded from the cab window. In interview, Martel, of no fixed address, admitted having fallen asleep at the wheel which resulted in him swerving and also drinking about two whiskies that morning, totalling about six units.

He was charged with drink driving which he admitted at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court and was disqualified from driving for a year and four months, as well as being made to pay £755 in fines and costs.

Sergeant Sam Tucker, from Peterborough’s southern neighbourhood policing team, said: “Martel admitted having been drinking whisky on the morning he was arrested, but felt he was fit to drive. Alcohol and tiredness can be a lethal combination on the roads, and for someone who drives professionally there is absolutely no excuse for it.”

TC warning for ‘big mess’ digger firm

mess tangle

An operator who created a “mess” while attempting to regularise its position as a haulier by transferring from a sole trader to a limited company has had its application granted, but with a warning.

Sole trader Graham Byrne, trading as GB Digger Hire, submitted an application for GB Digger Hire Ltd, after taking advice from accountants and legal representatives. However, confusion arose about the status of the Norwich-based operator, with a cheque lodged to cover the licence renewal fee in the name of the limited business and the wrong letter-headed paper used in other paperwork.

In a letter from solicitors to the office of the traffic commissioners, it said sole trader GB Digger Hire owned all the assets but that upon accountancy advice “for both protection and future planning” it was decide the business, which operated six HGVs and three trailers, should be incorporated, with the division of assets being made between the sole trader and GB Digger Hire Ltd.

In his written decision, TC Richard Turfitt said that by putting the advice of accountants and others above specialist advice on its O-licence, the operator had created a mess and then, by seeking to operate under “contorted arrangements for cross invoicing”, they then created an even bigger mess.

“I am satisfied that these arrangements arose from ignorance on the part of the operator and director, but they cannot be repeated,” the TC said.

He granted the application, but with a warning about the way it had been operating.