Belfast Telegraph

Paolo Nutini cleared of drink-driving charge

The New Shoes singer had denied the charge.

Singer Paolo Nutini has been cleared of drink-driving in his home town earlier this year.

The 30-year-old was accused of driving under the influence of alcohol while more than twice the legal limit in Paisley, Renfrewshire, on February 21.

The New Shoes singer, who had denied the charge, was found not guilty by a sheriff following a two-day trial at Paisley Sheriff Court.

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Singer Paolo Nutini (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Nutini was accused of breaching the Road Traffic Act by driving with 48 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, exceeding the 22 microgrammes limit.

His defence to the allegation was “post-incident drinking”.

Sheriff Colin Pettigrew acquitted the musician of the single charge after evidence was led from several witnesses about events on the night in question.

During the trial, witness Colin May told the court he saw Nutini driving after ordering vodka in DeBeers bar.

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(Andrew Milligan/PA)

Mr May said he went into the pub at about 10.10pm, sat at the bar and saw Nutini sitting at a table with another man and a woman.

The witness said Nutini left the bar about 10 minutes before him and he next saw him about 15 minutes later in the driver seat of a black Mini at traffic lights, with a woman in the car.

He added: “At first I was a bit thrown and continued my journey home, then I called the police to tell them what I had seen.”

During cross-examination, Mr May agreed Nutini was sitting behind him.

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Paolo Nutini arriving at Paisley Sheriff Court (PA)

Defence agent Massimo Franchi asked: “He goes back to his table and you don’t know what happens, those drinks could have been spilled, you don’t know”, to which Mr May agreed.

Pc Laura Murray told the first day of the trial she was called to Canal Street towards midnight on February 21 to a report of a car being driven by someone who had allegedly been drinking.

The car was no longer there when they arrived but they went to an address where they found a grey Mini and Nutini, who they had been told was the driver of the vehicle.

The officer told the court Nutini tested positive for alcohol and was then arrested and taken to Govan police office for a further test.

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Paolo Nutini (Yui Mok/PA)

Giving evidence in his own defence earlier, Nutini told the court he had gone for a meal with a friend that night and then went to DeBeers bar at about 9.15pm to watch the end of a football match.

He told how he had three vodkas with soda and lime over the course of the pub visit, which ended around 11.50pm, and drove home.

He admitted to the court he had been “stupid” and “wrong” to try to estimate whether he was fit to drive that night.

“Now I’ll definitely not be making my own estimation as to whether or not I was okay or not to drive … That’s what I take from this experience.”

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