JPR Williams hit with drink-drive ban
March 8, 2010
JPR Williams, pictured with former team-mate Gareth Edwards, has been banned from driving © Getty Images
Wales' legendary fullback JPR Williams, 61, has been banned from driving for 17 months and fined £380 after being found guilty of drink-driving.
Williams, who won 55 caps for Wales and eight for the British & Irish Lions during their all-conquering 1970s heyday, had put copper pennies in his mouth in a misconceived attempt to fool a breathalyser machine after being pulled over by police.
He had been chauffeur driven to watch his former side, London Welsh, play before being taken back to Cardiff. There, he opted to drive back to his home in Llansannor, near Cowbridge, in the Vale of Glamorgan. A blood sample showed he had 142mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80mg.
"Mr Williams had to be instructed twice to remove items from his mouth, those being three one-penny coins," Hannah Norton, prosecuting, said in court. "Your worships, there is a myth that copper from those coins can interfere with breathalyser machines at the police station."
Nigel Daniels, representing Williams, an orthopaedic surgeon, said that the former player was filled with remorse and hoped that people would learn from his mistake.
"In what he now accepts was a very stupid and misconceived decision, he got in his car and headed home back to the Vale of Glamorgan," he said. "Dr. Williams was under the foolish misconception that after a four-hour journey he was now fit to drive.
"He hopes some good will come from today and others, both young and old, will not follow his example and will refrain from drink-driving and the associated damage that comes from drink-driving. He also warns people not to drive in the mistaken belief that alcohol has left the system."
The news follows current international Andy Powell's 15-month drink-drive ban after stealing a golf buggy from the team hotel and driving to a motorway service station following his side's Six Nations victory over Scotland.