Church organist pleads guilty to drink driving

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple - Credit: Archant

The 71-year-old from Witheridge was caught driving his Jaguar after consuming three pints of beer.

A CHURCH organist pleaded guilty to drink driving at North Devon Magistrates’ Court today (Fri) after he was pulled over by police in June.

John Harris, 71, of Broomhouse Park, Witheridge, was driving home from the Rackerford Club when he was stopped by officers.

He blew a positive breath test and when taken into custody was found to have 89 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80.

Harris said he had drunk two pints of beer during the afternoon and eaten a substantial meal, and was not intending to leave the house.


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But after a police incident occurred at the club, of which he is a member, he drove there to see if he could help and drank another pint of beer.

Defence solicitor Michael Oerton said the organist would struggle to attend events around the community due to the rural nature of Witheridge and Rackenford.

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Harris was disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay a £160 fine.

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