Drink driving

With summer holidays looming there’s a definite de-mob happy feel to chambers at the moment and today TheVamp and I went out for a lazy lunch after having agreed a very fruitful settlement for both of us (and of course our respective clients).

We certainly weren’t planning on returning to chambers and the beer was flowing freely. Then three pints in and TheVamp received a call from HeadClerk.
‘Since you’re now both free, do you think you could cover for us for two of our pupils at three o’clock in Horseferry Road Magistrates? Tiny plea in mitigation. Won’t take long.’

Well, when HeadClerk calls, it’s not really a request. More a thinly veiled instruction and so the two of us staggered back to chambers to collect our respective briefs. When TheVamp saw that it was a drink driving case that I was prosecuting and she was defending she said,

‘Have you ever played the drink driving game at court, BabyB?’

‘Er, no. What’s that exactly?’

‘Bit like the James Bond drinking game but instead you have to drink whenever the words ‘drink’ or ‘driving’ are mentioned. Both words and it’s two drinks. Simple, really. Oh, and you just put vodka in a water bottle and fill your glass from that.’

Yes, quite simple and also quite extraordinarily illegal and unprofessional. Which certainly wasn’t going to stop us now that we were on a roll.

‘I mean if we both do it,’ added TheVamp, ‘it still keeps the trial fair.’

‘Well, quite,’ I agreed.

The only mitigating feature of the whole case was that when we arrived at court TheVamp’s client also stank of drink and so neither he nor anyone around her realised that she had also been drinking as well. As for me, I tip-toed into the office of the Crown Prosecution Service and quietly took the brief whilst avoiding speaking to anyone. Once in court and the more we tried to make our drinking appear subtle and nonchalant, the more we failed. So much so that at one point the District Judge said to TheVamp,
‘These drink driving cases can be thirsty work, MsVamp? May I pass you an extra drink of water?’

Which of course simply elicited three more gulps of vodka from the two of us. Thankfully, all I had to do was introduce the case since the man had already pleaded guilty and sentencing was all that remained. But then when it came to TheVamp’s submissions, they did get a little flowery,
‘Shir, drink driving [two more sips] is the bane of our soshiety and we’re all aware of the shlogan “Don’t drink [one sip] and drive [and another]: accidents cause children.” Indeed, accidents can alsho harm children Shir and sho for all of those reashons it ish what the authors of ‘1066 and All That’ would call “A very bad thing indeed.” But despite this Shir, all I can ashk is that the court take mercy on this man’s soul. Now and forever. Amen.”

With which she sat down.

August 18, 2010 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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