Drink driver gave friend’s name after police stopped him in Sunderland

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A DRINK driver who gave police false details when caught with the lowest alcohol reading needed for a prosecution, has been banned from the roads for three years.

Factory worker Daniel Strachan had 40 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath, when he was stopped in the early hours of November 29.

The legal limit in breath is 35 microgrammes, but drivers are not usually prosecuted unless they have 40 microgrammes or more, Sunderland magistrates heard.

The 23-year-old could have asked for a blood test, which would have been more accurate, but he failed to do so, and as a repeat drink driver he faced the minimum ban of 36 months.

Strachan, of Alma Street, South Hylton, caught the attention of passing officers as he drove a Peugeot 106 into the back of another vehicle in Church Bank, Southwick, as it was waiting to move off, prosecutor Maimuna Bappa said.

However, instead of giving police his own name and date of birth, he gave the details of the friend he had borrowed the car from. He then failed a breath test and was arrested.

The next day he contacted police to own up about his true identity, saying he had panicked as he was not insured to drive the car.

Miss Bappa told the court that Strachan had also been convicted of drink driving in 2012. He admitted drink driving, having no insurance and obstructing police.

Joanne Gatens, defending, said: “Once he had realised the mistake he had made in giving the false details, he got back in touch with police and told them. He did that very quickly.

“The reading was 40 microgrammes. Had he been given the opportunity to give blood, it would have been a more accurate reading and may well have made a difference.

“Had he been one microgramme below the reading he would not have been charged.

“The excess alcohol charge is for the lowest possible reading you can possibly have.”

In addition to his driving ban, Strachan was given a £230 fine and told to pay £85 costs and a £23 victim surcharge.