England footballers are never too far away from the news and it would appear that this observation applies equally to former players as it does to current ones. Mr Paul Merson has again made the news recently with a serious incident that occurred on the M40 near Warwick in the early hours of last Wednesday morning. The crash is said to have happened at around 3.12am and Paul Merson's vehicle is alleged to have collided with a Ministry of Defence lorry on the motorway.
The Sky Sports pundit Mr Merson suffered injuries to his face but managed to get out of his own vehicle, a Mercedes-Benz 4x4, and await the arrival of the emergency services. The police and ambulance arrived shortly afterwards and Mr Merson was subject to a roadside breath test by the police, he was then treated for the injury to his face and taken away to the local hospital for further treatment.
The reports suggest that he was under arrest at that time on suspicion of drink driving and is now being subject to a police investigation. In these cases the police have the power to take a blood sample from someone being detained at hospital if they suspect that the offence of driving with excess alcohol has taken place. The usual breathalyer procedure does not apply at hospital and Paul Merson will now be anxiously awaiting the results of the blood sample taken by police.
The former England and Arsenal player was present at a Children in Need charity event shortly before the crash occurred and he has since claimed that he fell asleep at the wheel and felt that he was lucky to only escape with facial injuries. The driver of the Ministry of Defence lorry suffered the effects of whiplash and was also treated at the scene. The police will also clearly need to investigate whether Mr Merson could be charged with the offence of driving without due care and attention if he maintains this position of falling asleep at the wheel. It would be good practice for Mr Merson to start seeking expert motoring legal advice from a qualified solicitor so that he can begin putting together a formal statement for the police.
By motoring offences solicitor, Martyn Walsh