Drink-driver banned again

A NORTH Sunderland man has been banned from the roads for three years after admitting drink-driving, less than five years after being caught for the same offence.

Thomas Russell, 24, of North Lane, was arrested on January 3, in Seahouses.

Prosecuting, James Long told Berwick magistrates that Russell was stopped by an officer at 1.10am in relation to an insurance matter and he noticed he had been drinking.

After failing a roadside breath test, Russell then blew a lower reading of 90mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath at the police station, the legal limit being 35mcg.

Mr Long added that Russell had been convicted of drink-driving just over four years ago, and was subsequently banned for 16 months.

In a report to the court, Tony Flynn, from Northumbria Probation Trust, said that Russell had been at a local pub with friends and had two cans of beer there but had been drinking heavily over the New Year period.

Mr Flynn added that Russell had moved to Newcastle to stay with his uncle in the hope of picking up work. A time-served plumber, Russell had then joined the Army but was discharged in August last year after breaking both shins while serving.

He added that Russell had told him that he had debts of £14,000 and was in the process of declaring himself bankrupt.

In mitigation, Stephen Davies said his client honestly believed he would be under the drink-drive limit.

Russell was banned for three years and given a 12-month community order with supervision and a drink impaired driver programme. He was also offered the chance to reduce his ban by nine months on successful completion of a drink-driver rehabilitation course, which he completed on the previous occasion. Costs of £85 were also ordered.