A TAXI boss is battling to save his business after being convicted of drink-driving.

Brian Marlow, who runs Fordingbridge Taxis, has vowed to lodge an appeal following the district council’s refusal to renew his taxi driver’s licence.

Mr Marlow, of Riverdale Close, Fordingbridge, was driving himself back from a darts match in February last year when he was stopped by police.

He was found to be twice the legal drink-drive limit and was disqualified from driving for 12 months.

The veteran cabbie, who has been driving for 27 years, asked the council’s licensing sub-committee to renew his taxi driver’s licence once his ban had expired.

He said his disqualification had already cost him about £12,000 in lost business.

Mr Marlow added: “I was a damn fool but it was a one-off case of stupidity. I was astounded when I was told I was twice the limit.

“I really don’t want to close down and put two other people out of work.”

However, taxi drivers disqualified for drink-driving are not normally granted a new licence by the council until three years after their ban ends.

Councillor Paul Woods, chairman of the three-man sub-committee, said there was no reason why the council should deviate from its policy.

He added: “While the subcommittee was sympathetic to the applicant’s financial situation it was not appropriate to take these factors into account.

“The sub-committee were mindful that their duty in determining this application was to ensure the safety of the public.”

After the meeting Mr Marlow said: “I’m gutted. One mistake in 27 years and I’m finished.”

The cabbie vowed to lodge an appeal at Southampton Magistrates’ Court.