Drunken businessman took Rolls out for M55 spin

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A businessman was caught driving his Rolls Royce Phantom while over the alcohol limit following a tip-off to police.

Matthew Longworth was stopped after a police patrol spotted him weaving about a motorway from lane one to the hard shoulder and back to lane two.

Longworth, 38, of Moorfield, Treales Road, Treales, near Kirkham, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

He was banned from the road for 18 months and fined £1,155 with £150 costs plus £116 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Pam Smith, prosecuting, said police received information about a suspected drink-driver in a Rolls Royce Phantom on the M55 at Broughton on November 5 at 1.50am.

Wine

A patrol saw the car weaving about the motorway.

Longworth then left the motorway and police stopped him on Garstang Road North, Wesham. The prosecutor said: “He told officers he had had three glasses of wine.”

“A breath test showed 60 micrograms of alcohol in his body - 35 is the limit.”

Magistrates heard that Longworth had originally pleaded not guilty to the offence, but then changed his plea.

Tim Vickers, defending, said his client, who had no previous convictions, had been at a business meeting the night of the offence.

Towards the end of a meal he had ordered tonic water, but unknown to him, the man he had the meeting with, had bought him gin and tonics.

Mr Vickers added: “The driving ban will have a devastating impact on his business.”

The defence said Longworth, who was married a wife and daughter, also did a lot of work for charity, including cycling for Leukaemia causes and the North West Air Ambulance.