A1 drink-driver had downed hot toddies 'to clear his chest' and had opened Desperados 5.9% tequila-flavoured beer in his van

A drink-driver who was described as being ‘all over the road’ on the A1 in Northumberland has been banned.

Tuesday, 12th November 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th November 2019, 6:00 am
The A1 near Belford. Picture: Google

David McAdams, 54, from Boulmer, pleaded guilty to the offence when he appeared at Berwick Magistrates’ Court.

Magistrates heard that police received a report of a suspected drink driver on the A1 in the Belford area around 10pm on Sunday, July 14.

Prosecutor James Long said: “A member of the public reported the driver of a Transit van swerving across the carriageway, nearly colliding with another vehicle. The witness reported him to be all over the road.”

The defendant was stopped and two PCs noticed he appeared to be under the influence, but he told them he was not in Scotland where the legal drink drive limit is lower.

He was breath-tested at the roadside and arrested after giving a reading of 112 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, the legal limit is 35.

“Police also noticed a three-pack of Desperados 5.9% tequila-flavoured beer in his van,” said Mr Long. “One bottle was in the pack, another had been opened and was half drunk and one was missing.”

The defendant, who suffered from angina, complained of chest pains and was taken initially to Alnwick Infirmary and then to the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington. A blood sample taken at 2.10am measured 192 micrograms in 100 mililitres of blood, where the legal limit is 80.

In his defence, Ian O’Rourke said McAdams did not dispute the prosecution’s case.

He told magistrates the defendant was a jobbing bricklayer who gets work through agencies.

“On this particular occasion he got a call from a agency telling him to be in Berwick to start work at 7am on the new Premier Inn,” he said. “He was ill with a chest infection and had three or four hot toddies before setting off in an attempt to clear his chest. It was not a wise move because it put him over the limit.”

Magistrates imposed a 20-month driving ban, although this will be reduced by 20 weeks on completion of a drink driver rehabilitation programme. He was also told to pay a fine and costs totalling £192.