Kenny Shirlow was banned from driving for 15 months

A driving licence is an important thing indeed for your average tradie. If you want to earn a decent living, you need to be able to reach your clients, shift your tools and be on time as often as you possible can: three very good reasons why you should never take a “chance” and try driving home drunk!

Kenny Shirlow, a tiler from Moneymore, N. Ireland, learned this the hard way when he was stopped by police after picking up friends who had been out drinking. While acting as a designated driver is respectable (if lamentable), the 30-year-old had made the mistake of joining in before trying to drive home.

Police stopped him at 10:10 pm last January and soon got a nose full of pungent liquor. After failing a preliminary breath test, Shirlow was transferred to the custody suite at Dungannon, where he showed an alcohol reading of 92mg.

Hearing the case at Magherafelt Magistrates Court, District Judge Oonagh Mullan said that Shirlow had been foolish to be out on the road.

The defending lawyer said that Shirlow “took a chance”, but there was no sympathy to be found. The tiler was handed a 15 month ban from driving, along with a £265 fine. He was also certified for a drink-driving rehabilitation course.

It may seem like a harsh lesson, but certainly one worth learning: when you drive drunk you endanger yourself, fellow road users and, in Shirlow’s case, your business.

So, the next time you are asked to be a designated driver, keep a clear head and drive safely. Never take a chance, unless you are willing to deal with the consequences.

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