You won’t be seeing Brendan Coyle, aka John Bates of PBS’ Downton Abbey, on the road anytime soon.
According to Page Six, the actor pleaded guilty to a charge of drunken driving today at King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court in eastern England. He was stopped in his BMW convertible on Jan. 1, widely known as a holiday when parties lead to drunk drivers on the roads. His breath was at three times the legal limit for driving.
The Eastern Daily Press reports that Coyle’s lawyer Stephen Dyble told the hearing that his client was driving home from a flight from a rehabilitation clinic in Thailand. He had been drinking on the flight home, which Dyble descried as “lively.” Dyble also described Coyle’s alcohol problem as “significant.” Coyle had spent the month of December in treatment. Of Coyle’s alcoholism, Dyble told the hearing, “I can’t say [the program] was a success as the commission of the offense clearly shows it wasn’t and failed.”
According to Coyle’s probation officer Sharon Cooper, the actor has given up a few months of work to focus on remaining sober. He has been banned from driving for 50 months and ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work, one year of community service and enter into 15 days of rehab.
Dyble told the court, “[Coyle] stands before you a very contrite man who appreciates he has a problem and is doing his best to confront it and [is] very sorry for burdening you with this appearance.”