A DRIVER abandoned his car after realising he had drunk too much.
Gary Frederick Price admitted driving with excess alcohol at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.
The 43-year-old got behind the wheel after drinking seven bottles of lager then discovering he had run out of cigarettes, in the early hours of April 15.
Glenda Beck, prosecuting, told the court how Price drove from his home in Millfield, Sunderland, to a garage in Durham Road, at about 4.50am.
Police were called to the garage after a separate incident and found Price near the Ford Ka, with four cans of lager he had bought.
They realised he was drunk and a breath test gave a reading of 59 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.
Mrs Beck added that Price, of Rosedale Street, had convictions for theft dating back to 1987 and 1991, and owed the courts £2,000 in fines for offences including driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and not having a TV licence.
Ruth Forster, defending, said unemployed Price was drinking at home as it was the anniversary of his father’s death.
“Both him and his mother have had some difficulties in coming to terms with that.
“He decided to have a few drinks. He had run out of cigarettes and did not realise he had drunk as much as he had.
“He drove the short distance, about a mile, to the garage.
“When he got there, he realised he was not in the best state and decided to walk home.
“There was some kind of altercation on the forecourt with some young men and police arrived.
“He was stopped and challenged by police as he was walking away, about the car, which he had left parked on the forecourt.
“He accepts in the past, he dabbled in a little bit of trouble, but has been out of trouble for a very long time now.
“He would not normally think about getting behind the wheel and is thoroughly ashamed of himself.
Magistrates banned Price from driving for 16 months and added £112 to his unpaid fines.