Michelin-starred restaurant manager hit with driving ban for driving BMW after drinking

A MICHELIN-starred restaurant manager has been banned from driving for having drunk too much at the end of the shift.

Ellie Dimes, restaurant manager of Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, was arrested for drinking by police last month.

His silver BMW was spotted on the A4 near Chippenham on March 20 just before 1am where officers said it had swerved into the center white lines.

Prosecutor Kate Prince told Swindon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday morning (April 27) that Dimes had been arrested and provided a positive reading. She was taken back to the police station where she breathed a reading of 61 micrograms of alcohol per 100 milliliters of breath; the legal limit is 35.

Representing the 25-year-old, Liz Highams said “the situation is very upsetting for her”.

She explained how she came home from work and that part of her role at the Michelin-starred restaurant, located near the village of Thickwood, is to taste the wine ordered by diners to make sure it is not corked.

“As it’s expensive wine, it’s usually stronger than what I could buy in the supermarket,” Ms Highams told the court. However, it would normally be no more than a single drink.

She went on to say that a colleague was also leaving, so she had a glass of champagne at the bar and also went to a pub for drinks with colleagues.

“It’s completely irrelevant, she is very remorseful, shocked by her behavior and extremely disappointed in herself.

“Since this restaurant is in the middle of nowhere, the mandatory disqualification will make it difficult for him to get to work. She still has a job there and they support her.

Ms Highams said as a mitigation there were cars parked on the road which meant Dimes from Fitzwarren Close in Chippenham had to drive towards the center line.

She added that her reading was only a microgram above the threshold to be treated in the lower category, and asked magistrates to “consider whether you can step outside your guidelines”.

Magistrates took into account his early guilty plea, clean driver’s license and previous good character, as well as references from his employer and decided to step out of the sentencing guidelines.

They banned her from the roads for 15 months and fined her £666.

She must also pay court costs and a victim fine surcharge, resulting in a total court bill of £817.

About Vivian J. Smith

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