A SOLDIER drove after drinking following a row with his ex-partner.
Michael Watson, 25, of Stansfield Street, Sunderland, was nearly three times the legal limit when police stopped him.
A test gave a reading of 92 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.
Police stopped his BMW in Ashbrooke Road on April 29.
Prosecutor Paul Anderson told Sunderland magistrates that the defendant, who admitted drink driving, pulled out in front of a police car driving down Ryhope Road at about 3.15am.
Gavin Sword, defending, handed in letters from Watson’s commanding officer in the Royal Artillery.
He said the serviceman had had problems following the breakdown of his marriage.
Mr Sword added: “He had some alcohol and lost control of what he was doing and his train of thought. He had a heated conversation with this ex-partner on the telephone and in an effort to calm himself down, he jumped in his car and drove a short distance.
“He realised what he was doing, turned round to return home and unfortunately had the meeting with the police car and was unfortunately arrested.”
Magistrates banned Watson from driving for 23 months and ordered he pay a £390 fine.