£1,140 fine and a 14-month ban for drunk driver caught littering by council officer

A drunk driver who was arrested by the police following a tip-off from a Barking and Dagenham Council enforcement officer, has been ordered to pay more than a thousand pound fine and banned from driving for 14 months.

In the early hours of Tuesday 18 October, the council officer noticed a man who he thought was littering from his vehicle opposite the Frizlands Reuse and Recycling Centre on Rainham Road North, Dagenham. The man was in fact being sick.

On approaching the vehicle, the driver, Pritamkumar Rashiklal Gajjar, of Baron Road, Dagenham, attempted to drive away but stalled the blue Hyundai Tucson.

When the enforcement officer knocked on the window, he noted a strong smell of alcohol and called the police, who arrested Mr Gajjar at the scene.

At the trial at Romford Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 24 January, Mr Gajjar pleaded guilty to being in charge of a motor vehicle while above the legal alcohol limit and driving a motor vehicle while above the legal alcohol limit.

He was disqualified from driving for 14 months, fined £600, and ordered to pay £240 costs to the court and £300 costs to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Councillor Syed Ghani, Cabinet Member for Enforcement & Community Safety, said: “Littering is not a victimless crime. As budgets continue to be squeezed and pressure mounts on councils to make money go further, we would much rather spend our cash in other places.

“In this instance, the professionalism of a council officer investigating a littering offence escalated into a much greater risk, and we’re pleased to have helped play our part in removing a potentially dangerous, drunk driver from the roads through a great example of partnership working.”

Littering is an offence under section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and is punishable by a fixed penalty fine of £150.