Status Quo star gets drink-driving ban

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The Independent Online
The rock star Rick Parfitt was fined pounds 1,000 for drink-driving after he crashed his pounds 70,000 Porsche into a ditch, and pounds 500 for possessing cocaine after police who went to the crash found the drug on him.

Magistrates at Staines in Surrey were told yesterday that the Status Quo guitarist was stressed and depressed at the time. Parfitt was also banned from driving for 18 months.

Police called to the M3 at Sunbury early on Sunday, 21 May, found Parfitt still sitting in his Porsche 911 in a ditch by the side of the carriageway with the engine still running. He told officers that he was worried about the car and they noticed his speech was slurred. Shuba Karan, for the prosecution, said: "Parfitt registered positive when breathalysed by the side of the road and was taken to Staines police station."

Police there gave him another test and discovered he was almost twice the legal limit - with a reading of 60 microgrammes of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of breath. He was searched and a small twist of paper was found on him which contained 115 milligrammes of cocaine.

Ronald Thwaites QC, counsel for Parfitt, of Teddington, Surrey, told the magistrates that at the time of the crash his client had been suffering from stress and depression. He said that the stress was caused by Parfitt's work schedule and he blamed the depression on the break-up of his marriage.