When it comes to avoiding a ban for speeding, the courts hear every excuse in the book.
But yesterday one motorist offered what must be a unique reason why he should keep his licence.
Mohammed Anwar said a ban would make it difficult to commute between his two wives and fulfil his matrimonial duties.
His lawyer told a Scottish court the Muslim restaurant owner has one wife in Motherwell and another in Glasgow – he is allowed up to four under his religion – and sleeps with them on alternate nights.
He also needed his driving licence to run his restaurant in Falkirk, Stirlingshire.
Airdrie Sheriff Court had heard that Anwar was caught driving at 64mph in a 30mph zone in Glasgow, fast enough to qualify for instant disqualification.
Anwar admitted the offence, but Sheriff John C. Morris accepted his plea not to be banned and allowed him to keep his licence.
Instead, he was fined £200 and given six penalty points.
Lorna Jackson, from the road safety charity Brake, called the decision “astonishing”.
She said: “Regardless of the number of wives or businesses this man drives to, he broke a law which is there to protect everyone.
“Travelling just a few miles over the limit in a 30mph zone can be the difference between life and death if you hit someone, let alone driving at more than twice the speed limit.
“Drivers know the law, and they know the punishment they could face when they break it.
“For the courts to allow someone to keep their licence when they have so blatantly flouted the law and put peoples’ lives at risk, on the basis of an excuse such as this, is astonishing.”
Anwar, wearing a suit and an open-neck shirt, had made no comment during his five-minute court appearance, apart from confirming his identity.
But last night, speaking from his restaurant Sanam, he said: “It is true I have two wives.
“Muslim men are allowed up to four. But I am not a religious leader and it is not my place to comment.
“As a matter of respect to my wives I would not comment on my home life.
“The sheriff did not ban me because I need my licence to run my business, although my wives were also part of the decision.”
The court had heard that Anwar was on his way home from Falkirk to his Glasgow wife on August 21, 2007, when he was caught by city police using a hand-held speed camera.
His lawyer, Paul Nicolson, said: “He realises his licence is at risk, but this is an unusual case and is very anxious to keep his driving licence.
“He has one wife in Motherwell and another in Glasgow and sleeps with one one night and stays with the other the next on an alternate basis.
“Without his driving licence he would be unable to do this on a regular basis.
“He is also a restaurant owner and has a restaurant in Falkirk, which he has had for the past 30 years.
“He has had a clean driving licence until now, and on this particular evening was on his way home after a busy evening at his restaurant.”
Anwar’s successful plea joins a long list of unusual excuses heard in the courts down the years.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was cleared of illegally driving on a motorway hard shoulder because he said he was rushing to a toilet.
David Beckham also escaped a ban after arguing he had to break the speed limit to escape a photographer.