Drink-driver banned after trip to pub

A DRINK driver has been banned from the roads for 17 months.

Nicholas Walsh, of Low Cottages, Ilderton, pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared before magistrates earlier this month.

Prosecuting, Jonathan Moore said Walsh, 58, was stopped at 5.30pm in Ryecroft Way, Wooler, while driving a Vauxhall Combo van. He failed a roadside breath test and when taken to a police station blew a lower reading of 65mg/alc in 100ml of breath, almost twice the legal limit.

Ian O’Rourke, defending, said Walsh was ‘very ashamed’ to be appearing in court and added that the inevitable driving ban would have ‘very serious consequences’ for his business as an electrical contractor.

The court heard Walsh had gone into Wooler to watch the first half of a football match at a pub before going shopping. However, after having two pints of beer, when he left at half-time to do the shopping the store was very busy and he returned to the pub to watch the second half, having another drink.

Mr O’Rourke added that Walsh was routinely stopped by police, rather than because of the manner of his driving.

Walsh was banned for 17 months, to reduce to 13 months if he successfully completes a drink driver rehab course. He was fined £250 and ordered to pay £85 costs and £15 surcharge.