COUNCILLOR Karl Wallace told of his breath test shame and apologised for his ‘stupid mistake’.

The Lib Dem councillor was arrested and charged with failing to give a specimen after crashing his car in West Bay Road at 2am.

He received an 18-month ban at Weymouth Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

He insists that there was an ongoing steering fault with his car at the time and that he was concussed when he refused to take a breath test.

In an exclusive interview with the News, he also says that he was on his way to talk to boy racers at West Bay after complaints about noise when he was caught early on Sunday, March 20.

The town, district and county councillor admitted that he had been drinking before the crash but he claims it was not to excess.

He insisted that he was sorry for his ‘series of poor decisions’.

Coun Wallace said: “I want to say sorry to everybody.

“I want to apologise to my constituents in the wards I represent through to my friends and colleagues and especially to my family.

“I made a mistake in my personal life which I will be paying for.

“It will not stop me from working hard for the community to achieve the best results I can in various campaigns.

“I realise how wrong it was and I am sticking my hands up firmly to it.”

Coun Wallace added: “I represent the people of Bridport and made an error in my personal life.

“I will be paying the consequences and the memories will always be with me.

“Because I consider myself a supporter of the underdog I hate myself for what I did.

“I have been beating myself up about it and thinking what a stupid mistake it was.

“I have to take it on the chin and say sorry, I let you down and it won’t happen again.”

Coun Wallace represents the Bridport ward on Dorset County Council. He represents the Bridport South and Bothenhampton ward on West Dorset District Council and the south ward on Bridport Town Council. The father of five has been a serving councillor since 2003.

He is standing again in the district and town council elections and has vowed to make up for his mistake.

“It’s a serious matter. I have worked continuously for the public good since 2003. I wanted to stand again and I want to redeem myself.”

Coun Wallace said that he has never wants to see the inside of a police cell again.

He said that on the day of the incident he was dehydrated and had not eaten after selling bric-a-brac in Bucky Doo Square for a primary school during the day before dealing with constituents’ matters.

The councillor said that he intended to only go out for a quiet drink at 9pm.

He said: “Later on in the evening I had heard that there was going to be a gathering of a lot of young people on the esplanade.

“I thought I would go along there and speak to them to try and mediate to explain some of the local residents’ concerns.

“I have done this on many occasions.”

Coun Wallace claims that his car had a steering fault which had been looked at once at a garage and that he was due to take it back for another examination.

Coun Wallace says he feels lucky it was him driving and not his wife with their children the next day.

He described the moment he crashed: “I was driving at the top of West Bay Road and this cat or animal ran across the road.

“I swerved and as I swerved the wheel seemed to collapse. The airbag came up and I knew I hit my head.”

Coun Wallace insists that he was concussed but not drunk when he was picked up by police around the corner from the scene and refused a breath test.

“I was concussed, although to what degree I don’t know.”

He added: “I really wish I hadn’t done it. I realise I could have hit someone and it makes me really angry with myself.”

He added: “I was really confused.

“I was walking home to get my mobile phone “I made a series of poor decisions. I’m only a human being and we all make mistakes.

“I wasn’t given community service but I don’t think the punishment was hard enough and I will be out doing my own work for the public, collecting litter and helping on the nature reserve maintaining footpaths and things like that.”

Coun Wallace suffered cuts, bruises and swelling from the smash.

He said that he has not got a drink problem but vowed not to drink again following the incident.

18-month ban for refusing breath test

DORSET county councillor Karl Wallace received an 18-month driving ban for failing to give a breath test after he drove his car into a wall after leaving a pub.

Wallace was told by magistrates chairwoman Mary Jennings that he had committed a ‘serious’ offence.

Father-of-five Wallace, 48, of Main Street, Bothenhampton, admitted failing to provide a specimen for analysis following the smash at West Bay Road in Bridport in the early hours of March 20.

He had been drinking in Bridport pubs from 9pm, Weymouth Magistrates’ Court was told.

Prosecutor Nicola Raynsford said Wallace was given ‘ample opportunity’ by police to give a breath test.

She said: “At 2am Mr Wallace was driving a Ford Ka that was in a road traffic accident. A witness called the police who responded to the call.

“Mr Wallace had left his vehicle and was walking to the main road. Police stopped him a short distance away and he denied being involved.”

Miss Raynsford added that Wallace refused a roadside breath test and said he would leave.

She said: “He was arrested and required to provide two further samples of breath. He refused and said he would wait for his wife.

“He was given ample opportunity to provide a sample but failed.”

Miss Raynsford added that Wallace was on his way to West Bay to speak to boy racers at the time of the accident and had an ongoing problem with his car’s steering.

He suffered memory loss, dizziness, high blood pressure and an injury on his right shoulder from the seatbelt in the collision.

In mitigation, Max Owen said: “Mr Wallace accepts he had gone out and had a few drinks.

“He accepts it was foolish. He had been deciding whether he was sober or over the limit when he got into his car to drive.”

Mr Owen said the accident happened as a result of a cat running out into the road and his client had little memory of the night.

He added: “Mr Wallace did go and see his GP the next morning and the GP said he may be suffering from concussion after the incident.

“It’s not uncommon for people to refuse to take a breath test until their solicitor arrives but to refuse to take a test until their wife arrives is somewhat less common.”

Mr Owen added that Wallace’s wife would have to drive him to many of his appointments during his ban.

Mr Wallace is someone who has devoted his life to the service of the public.

“As a nurse he works for the NHS and he is the chairman of Bothenhampton Parish Council.

“He sits on Bridport Town Council and is councillor for the district and county council.

“He spends most of his life working for the public.

“He says that with a Herculean effort on the part of his wife he will be able to carry on to do the work he does,” he said.

Magistrates fined Wallace £300 and ordered he pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

His 18-month ban will be reduced by four months upon completion of a drivers’ rehabilitation course.