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Drink driving Nottingham doctor claimed chewing a betel nut made shopkeeper think he was sozzled

today5 July 2022

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A tribunal is considering sanctions against a Nottingham doctor after he denied drink driving claims to a health body but then pleading guilty to the offence in court. He originally claimed to the General Medical Council he was simply chewing a betel nut and was not already drunk when buying spirits from a shop.

Vivek Goel was subsequently banned from driving for three years on January 3 2020 at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court after being almost three times over the limit. Goel, of Derwent Close, Gamston at the time of the sentencing, admitted driving with 99 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, 64 over the limit. As well as the driving ban, he was also ordered to do 120 hours of community work.

Goel is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon who often travelled to hospitals in Mansfield, Wigan and Doncaster. He works as a locum on six-month contracts, and the offence, along with another motoring conviction for failing to provide a specimen in 2018, were committed after the contracts had ended.

READ MORE: Surgeon who was almost three times the legal alcohol limit is banned from the road

A worried shopkeeper alerted police when Goel went into his shop and bought gin on August 30 2019. The prosecution during the case at the time said the shopkeeper thought he had been drinking already.

According to a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) document, Goel admitted to sending an email to the General Medical Council (GMC, an online list of doctors registered to practice in the UK) on September 20 2019 stating that, following a report from the shopkeeper he was driving under the influence of alcohol, that: “I am unsure as to why anyone may have thought this… However it may have been because I was chewing a betel nut at the time (which can create a smell).

“I wish to assure the GMC that I did not drive whilst under the influence of alcohol on August 30 2019, and I do not know why the shop staff reported me to the police on that occasion.”

MPTS determines if a doctor is fit to practice and if any sanctions should be given to that doctor. The tribunal in this case determined that his fitness to practice is impaired because of misconduct and his conviction, and is considering further sanctions.

The tribunal is being heard at MPTS in Manchester. The case continues.

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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