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His and hers driving bans for couple who took it in turns at the wheel

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 05, 2013

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A couple picked up his and hers driving bans within minutes of each other when they were both caught drink driving on the same night.

Sean Taylor and his partner Alison Vanson have both been disqualified after they took turns to drive back from a pub to their home after a night out.

Police were called after Vanson was seen driving so erratically that two motorists stopped to see if she was all right and realised she was drunk.

She was so alarmed by the encounter she woke up Taylor from his alcohol induced sleep in the passenger seat and got him to take the wheel and continue the journey back to their home in Exeter.

The burly steel erector was barely able to stand when the car was stopped a short distance away in St David’s Hill, Exeter and he later refused to give a breath test.

Taylor, 43, of Foxtor Road, Exeter, admitted failing to provide a specimen and was fined £1,000 with £440 costs and banned for two and a half years by Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, at Exeter Crown Court.

The judge decided not to activate a six month suspended sentence which had been imposed just days before for a drunken assault in Exeter.

Vanson had already been disqualified by Exeter Magistrates at an earlier hearing after she admitted drink driving.

The judge told Taylor: ”After the previous disgraceful incident of drunken violence one might have thought you would have kept off the drink.

“You became involved in taking over the driving on this occasion and after being stopped you failed to provide a specimen. I have been persuaded it is more sensible to make you pay for what you did rather than going into custody.”

Mr David Bowen, prosecuting, said Taylor took over the driving of the car after an incident in which two other motorists had stopped it because they were worried about the way Vanson was driving.

They reported the incident to the police who arrested Taylor just before midnight on St David’s Hill in Exeter.

He said: ”The driver smelled of alcohol and was stumbling about and incoherent. After a few half hearted attempts he refused to give a sample of breath.”

He said Taylor was stopped less than three weeks after being made subject of a suspended sentence for a street brawl in Exeter.

Mr Peter Seigne, defending, said Taylor was being driven home by his partner Alison and was asleep in the passenger seat when he was woken up and asked to take over at the wheel.

He said: ”The account of him and his partner is that there was an altercation with the two men from the other car and she was quite shaken up and he was concerned for her welfare and drove off.”

He said Taylor is a steel erector who previously worked at the incinerator in Marsh Barton but is about to start contract work in Reading which will pay £1,200 a week.

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