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An 80-year-old man from St Helens has been banned from driving after crashing his car whilst twice the drink-drive limit, but the courts have heard it was his partner that caused the accident in June of this year.

Charles McKie, 80, of Latimer Road, appeared before the Isle of Wight Magistrates Court today (Friday) charged with 1 count of drink driving.

Liz Miller, prosecuting, explained to the court that police, fire and ambulance crews were called to Carpenters Road on 10th June this year following reports that a Nissan Micra had crashed into a hedge and the occupants were trapped.

McKie, a retired professional musician, was freed from the car and it was noted he smelt of alcohol. A roadside breath test was conducted and indicated a reading of 85 – almost 2-and-a-half times the legal limit. He was taken to hospital for treatment where bloods were taken, resulting in an evidential reading of 172 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80.

The court heard that the crash was caused by McKie’s partner – who has dementia – waving her arms about and grabbing the steering wheel. The pair were returning from a meal out where McKie had consumed a few drinks.

Defending, Charles McKie’s solicitor said that his client had many decades of blameless motoring having passed his test in the 1950s. It was also said that the loss of a driving licence would have a bad effect on McKie’s life as he organises a weekly dance in Brading and transports equipment to and from the town.

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Magistrates banned Charles McKie from driving fro a period of 17 months, as well as ordering him to pay a £120 fine, £85 costs and a £34 surcharge.

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Ford David

If his license means that much to him he shouldn’t drink and drive got of light


Drink driving is drink driving and this man should have known better at 80 years of age. There is simply no excuse, someone could have easily been killed here and to stand up in court and attempt to make a case for keeping his driving license, despite breaking the law, is just wrong and comes across as arrogant. He knew what he was doing when he decided to drink before driving home, so got what he deserved, and should have thought about his weekly social event before acting so irresponsibly.


He probably had many many years of drink driving but had never been caught


Take responsibility when you have a drink. This is not the first time this driver has had a drink whilst driving

Uncle Ben

It will have a bad affect on his life to lose his license, so what. He took a chance and got done, accept your selfish actions. It’s very nice to know one more dangerous driver is off the road.


Irrespective of age, every driver should have to retake their theory test every 10 years. This will update so many with the changes of the rules of the road. In the 50’s it was the norm to have ‘a few drinks’ before driving home. Maybe if he had his knowledge of road safety updated he would have made a different choice.

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Common sense

Ok, so he gets off lightly, but no mention of who is goi9ng to pay for the hedge ?? Probably would have got a cheaper fine if hit a tree, or lampost, or even an empty parked car.. sadly they should think more about the fines they give, ie: what if a pedestrian or a cyclist was hit,
These non thinking people that get caught over the limit on alcohol, drugs, should be fined heavier.. far too lenient .
If driving don’t drink or do drugs.. simple.. I enjoy going for a few or more drinks, but I leave car and its keys at home. I do not do any drugs. I love reality, don’t get drunk.. love being me, not in dreamland..

Ken gray

This man may only be known as chick Cole on the island and has probably been drink driving since he passed his test in 1950 and should of been banned for life after causing crash whilst under the influence of alcohol over twice the limit at eighty years old means very drunk when he got in that car and then blames his partner for the accident disgusting behaviour

Rochelle Gray

Blaming a defenceless woman who isn’t that far gone with dementia that she dosnt know what she is doing. The woman who has only ever looked after him and supported him.
He lost control because he was OVER TWICE THE LIMIT.
Despicable excuse of a human being……Chick Cole you disgust us.

John F Stroud

I’m very glad that this pair of mobile disasters were not coming my way-Drink and Dementia what an unholy combination, one can’t help it and one can

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