Coins can't beat the coppers in breath test
Published 09/03/2010 | 05:00
JPR Williams, one of the legendary figures of Welsh rugby, sucked pennies after being stopped for drink-driving in the misguided belief that it would help him to cheat a breath test, a court heard yesterday.
Williams, who was capped 55 times for Wales during the 1970s, five times as captain, was stopped on his way back from a rugby dinner in Richmond, West London, on January 30. He had been driven back to Cardiff but decided to use his own car for the final eight miles of the journey to his home.
He was sitting in the back of a police car when the officer who had stopped him noticed that he was sucking coins.
Hannah Norton, prosecuting, told Cardiff Magistrates' Court: "While in the police car, Mr Williams had to be instructed twice to remove items from his mouth, those being three one penny coins. There is a myth that the copper in coins can interfere with the breathalyser."
The court heard that Williams (61) an orthopaedic surgeon, had failed one test earlier that day. He was stopped again after a car similar to his red Audi was reported stolen. A blood sample after the second test showed 142 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80 milligrams.
Nigel Daniel, representing Williams, said: "Dr Williams was under the foolish apprehension that after a four-hour journey he would be fit to drive. It was a costly mistake.
Williams, who was appointed MBE for services to sport, was fined £380 with £100 costs and banned from driving for 17 months.