Drink-driving? No officer, it’s just my mouthwash claims retired Southsea doctor

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A DOCTOR who tried to get off a drink-driving charge by blaming mouthwash has been banned from the roads.

Dr Girish Chandra was stopped by the police on the A27, near Havant.

Officers had received a report of a suspected drink-driver and when they saw Chandra in his green Jaguar he was speeding and braking erratically.

They pulled him over onto the hard shoulder and a breathalyser test revealed he was more than twice the drink-drive limit, with 74 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

The 73-year-old retired eye doctor blamed the high reading on a combination of mouthwash and Night Nurse medicine.

He was due to stand trial on a charge of drink-driving at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court but changed his plea to guilty at the last minute.

Prosecutor Vivian Ducie said: ‘There was some suggestion that the alcohol reading may have been affected by medication that the doctor was taking.

‘Clearly it’s now accepted that there was no substantive impact on it.’

Chandra, of Brading Avenue, Southsea, was stopped by the police at 6.30pm on October 2.

Before the start of his trial he had enlisted an expert to look at the breathalyser results.

Rebecca Strong, defending, said: ‘He had taken a number of medications that day for various complaints he suffers from, including diabetes and high blood pressure.

‘He had taken Night Nurse and mouthwash. Yes they do contain alcohol but he accepts that it’s not enough to take him to the alcohol level that he blew.’

She said that Chandra claimed he felt fine to drive on the evening in question.

‘He is still somewhat surprised that he was over the limit,’ Miss Strong said.

‘But he does fully accept that he was.

‘He did also want me to apologise to the court for the trouble that has been caused.’

Chandra was banned from driving for 18 months and fined £450.

He was also ordered to pay £100 in costs.

Chairman of the bench Anthony Young said: ‘You must not drive until your licence has been returned to you.

‘Driving while disqualified is an offence that can easily lead to a prison sentence.’