Harlesden drunk driver tried to cheat breathalyser with a penny

Andi Messini tried to fool his breath test with a penny

Andi Messini tried to fool his breath test with a penny - Credit: Archant

A trainee bus driver from Harlesden disproved one of the great urban myths of drink driving after he crashed into a double decker when almost twice over limit, a court heard.

Andi Messini, 27, of Chelsea Close, popped a penny into his mouth after ramming his Vauxhall Astra into the bus on High Street Kensington on August 16 this year.

Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court was told shocked onlookers shouted at the Tesco delivery driver to get out the smoking car and he walked away.

Police officers saw Messini trying to escape and watched him slipping the coin into his mouth as he made off.

Some motorists believe that sucking a coin will reduce the alcohol reading on a breath test.

But after being told to remove the coin Messini blew a reading of 64 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, nearly twice the legal limit of 35 microgrammes.

Katie Sinnett-Jones, prosecuting, said: “He hit the double decker bus and started to walk away, he put a penny in his mouth but police caught up with him.”

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Messini admitted in interview to driving and crashing the car, he said he only walked away as he was in shock and the vehicle was on fire.

He told the court that he was a delivery driver who worked for UK Mail and Tesco and had recently applied to become a bus driver himself as well as applying to take a PCO advanced delivery drivers course.

District Judge Karim Ezzat dismissed he pleas to keep his licence and he was today banned form driving for 19 months putting an end to his bus driving career.

Judge Ezzat fined him £200 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £30 surcharge.

He will also undertake a driving rehabilitation course.