Worthing nightclub owner and Two Door Cinema Club drummer sentenced over drink-driving
The owner of a Worthing nightclub has been convicted for drink-driving.
Ben Thompson, part-owner of Worthing bars Jungle and Manuka, failed a roadside breath test after police spotted him driving suspiciously in the early hours of June 6.
On Tuesday (March 23) Brighton Magistrates Court heard Thompson, who is also the drummer in indie band Two Door Cinema Club, drank three cans of Hooch and a shot of champagne before getting in his Audi RS5 at 2.30am.
Police spotted him leaving a seaside BBQ birthday celebration and conducted a breathalyser test that confirmed he was over the limit.
A second test showed he had 49ml of alcohol in his breath. The legal limit is 35ml.
He told police he was trying to manoeuvre into a better parking space when the front of his car edged out of the car park.
A passing police car spotted him and drove into the car park to prevent him leaving.
District Judge Amanda Kelly told Thompson she did not believe he was not intending to drive home before being stopped.
Ms Kelly said: “Looking at the footage, I simply don’t believe you weren’t going to drive out of that car park.
“The fact there was a police car coming makes it all the more suspicious in my mind. If you were that worried about the car, I don’t know why you would have left it there until 2.30am.
“You said you were shocked to discover you were over the limit, so I don’t understand why you wouldn’t have driven. I think if you thought you were safe to drive, you would have driven.”
Thompson was fined £500 and ordered to pay £684 in costs and surcharge.
He was also banned from driving for 12 months, to be reduced to nine if he completes a drink-driving awareness course.
As the drummer for Two Door Cinema Club, Thompson has played in front of 80,000 fans at Glastonbury Festival and their second album, Beacon, reached number two in the charges in 2012.
He told the court income from his two cocktail bars was zero over lockdown and there was no work with his band.