Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Conservative - Drink Driving

07:00 - 16 June 2008

A councillor convicted of drink-driving has apologised to his Clevedon constituents for letting them down.

Stanley Vyce, pictured, a Conservative member of North Somerset Council, was stopped by police at 5.15am on May 24 after returning from a party in Bristol.

At a hearing at North Somerset Magistrates' Court, it was revealed that 28-year-old Mr Vyce, of Newlands Green, Clevedon, had 52 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath - the limit is 35mg.

He pleaded guilty to drink-driving and was banned from driving for a year. He was also ordered to pay a £250 fine, a £15 victim surcharge and £60 costs.

Mr Vyce, who has been suspended from North Somerset's Conservative group in line with national party rules, said he was sorry for what he had done and felt embarrassed and humiliated by his court appearance.

He apologised to residents who voted for him in last May's elections.

Mr Vyce had been out with work friends in Bristol on the night he was stopped by police in Northern Way, Clevedon. They had visited a restaurant and a bar before going back to a friend's house.

The councillor, who joined the Conservative party at the age of 16 while a student at Backwell School, said: "I did not believe I was over the limit when I drove home.

"I did have a drink of Blackthorn cider but was also drinking soft drinks and the test showed I was about two-thirds of a pint over the legal limit.

"I feel very stupid about what has happened. I am really sorry and want to apologise to the local people who voted for me.

"This was a strong Labour seat and the people of the town put their trust and belief in me and the Conservative party, and I feel I have let them down."

Mr Vyce, a pensions administrator, said it was difficult to attend meetings without a car so he was reconsidering his position as a councillor for the town's central ward.

Council leader Nigel Ashton said the Conservative group would discuss Mr Vyce's drink-drive conviction at its meeting on Tuesday.


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