Ban for Barking driver ‘forced’ to drink two shots before taking wheel

Singh was banned from the roads for 40 months (pic: PA Wire)

Singh was banned from the roads for 40 months (pic: PA Wire) - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

A man who claimed he drove his car after being “forced” to drink two shots by friends has been banned from the roads for more than three years.

Balgit Singh, 38, of Woodbridge Road in Barking, was ordered to hand over his licence at Barkingside Magistrates Court on Thursday for driving while above the legal limit.

He was also fined £320 and told to pay £85 costs and a £32 victim surcharge.

Singh, who had a previous conviction for drink-driving from 2010, spoke in his own defence.

He told the court: “I was coming from the hospital with my friend and my friend’s wife.

“My first baby boy was six weeks premature.

“They took me to see him and afterwards I had two shots. They made me drink.

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“I never drink in my life other than the last one [conviction].”

He told the court he needed to be able to drive for his family, and asked the court to fine him and give him points on his licence.

Singh added: “My life is going to be destroyed.”

The judge said the court had taken account of the low level of alcohol in Singh’s system, and his personal circumstances, but still had no choice but to ban him from driving.

She said: “This is the second time you’ve had a drink related driving ban within 10 years, so we have to ban you from driving for a longer period.

“You have to accept responsibilty for getting behind the wheel. You will be disqualified for 40 months.”

Singh agreed to take a 16-hour drink-driving course, which if completed would reduce his ban by nine months.

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