Man nearly five times over limit

Joseph Buttler.
Joseph Buttler.
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A DRINK-DRIVER was caught almost five times over the limit.

Joseph Matthew Butler was spotted by two other drivers weaving in and out of lanes on the A19 and the A184 in Boldon, before being pulled over by police at Whitemare Pool.

The 45-year-old was arrested and breathalysed and it was found he had 161mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.

Anyone found with more than 120mg can be jailed for three months and banned from driving for three years.

At South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday, Butler, of Brunswick Road, Castletown, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to driving under the influence.

He was due back in court today to be sentenced.

Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said: “At 5.45pm on December 13 a driver saw an Astra travelling along the A19 towards Testo’s roundabout.

“She said she saw the car weaving in and out of lanes at about 30 or 40 miles an hour before coming to a complete stop in a filter lane.

“As she drove past she saw the driver with his hands gripping the wheel staring straight ahead.

“Another driver passed the same car on the A184 and saw the driver with the window down and said he looked like he had been drinking.

“He called the police who pulled the driver over and arrested him.

“Once at the station he was breathalysed and the reading showed he had 161mg of alcohol in his breath – the legal limit being 35mg.”

Butler’s solicitor, Craig Hunn, said to magistrates: “I’d ask you to adjourn this case so a pre-sentence report can be repaired by probation.

“The best he can hope for is a very significant community order. Beyond that – and I don’t want to make things worse – he is looking at 12 weeks in custody.

“This is a man who is not young, approaching 50, with no previous record and has held a clean licence for 27 years.

“Something must have happened in his life to have caused this sudden change and I would say a report by probation is the best way to find that out.”

Butler was set to learn his fate today after magistrates adjourned the case for the pre-sentence report to be prepared.