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Solicitor slams Swansea nightclub drinks offers after 'miracle' smash escape

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 23, 2012

By Ruth Mosalski

  • Oceana

  • La Cantina

  • Flares

  • Walkabout in Swansea’s Wind Street

A SWANSEA solicitor has hit out at "ridiculous" nightclub drink promotions after three men "miraculously" escaped serious injury after a road smash.

Mark Davies was representing Rhys Beck, a 20-year-old who admitted crashing his car after drink-driving.

Mr Davies said his client, of Glanmor Terrace, Penclawdd, had been out with friends at the Oceana nightclub and when he ordered one pint of beer, he was told he would receive two extra pints for free, as part of a promotion the club were running.

Mr Davies accepted his client had willingly drunk the alcohol before deciding to drive his Renault Clio, but said the promotion was "quite frankly asking for trouble".

"His intention wasn't to consume a large quantity of alcohol but he wanted one drink. When confronted with two more for free, it's often that people will consume the other two. He didn't believe he was over the limit," added Mr Davies.

Beck had driven his car on November 3, with two friends inside, along the A48 in Penllergaer. He then lost control and aquaplaned, causing the car to collide with a streetlamp, flip over and come to a rest on its roof in a roadside hedge.

Andrew Smith, prosecuting at Swansea Magistrates' Court, said: "It was something of a small miracle that no one was injured."

He said officers had found the car as they made their way towards Llangyfelach.

Mr Smith said: "There were fresh tyre marks on the grass verge where the car had left the road.

"They found it had collided with a small generator-style box, a street lamp and flipped over," he added.

"Officers checked inside and found no one was there but the vehicle was still warm to the touch. As they contacted the control room, they were told that Beck had already telephoned them and they saw him walking back to them from a roadside café," said Mr Smith.

Beck admitted drink-driving after being found with 63 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath — almost twice the legal limit of 35 micrograms.

Mr Davies said: "It's a shame this young man comes before the court as he's of clean character, he's educated and is waiting to go to university." He said his client had admitted driving the car at the scene.

Beck was banned from driving for 17 months, fined £100, told to pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

Meanwhile, police in Swansea have said they are concerned about cut-price drinks promotions in the city, and are working with the council and bars, pubs and clubs to try to ensure "safe and sensible" drinking.

Superintendent Phil Davies said: "Drinks promotions are a concern for the police.

"While we have got no legislative power to stop them, we are working closely with the local authority and licensed premises to encourage safe and sensible drinking."

No one from Oceana was available for comment.

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