Driver caught drinking can of Carling on A690 in Houghton

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A driver spotted supping from a can of lager on a busy dual carriageway is starting a year-long ban.

David Gibson, 39, gave no explanation to a court as to why he cracked open a Carling as he drove his Citroen on the A690 in Houghton.

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Gibson, of Gill Crescent North, Fence Houses, was pulled over by police on Tuesday, March 26, after a tip-off from a witness, a court heard.

He was arrested after giving a positive roadside breath test for alcohol – and a later evidential sample confirmed his guilt.

Prosecutor Ruth Foster said: “Officers received information that a gentleman had been seen driving a black Citroen while drinking from a can of alcohol in the driver’s seat.

“As a result, officers did an area search and located the vehicle on the A690 and caused it to stop.

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“He confirmed that he had been drinking a can of Carling while driving the vehicle. He was arrested and taken into custody in Sunderland.

“Mr Gibson was compliant with officers throughout the procedure. He has no previous convictions.

“It’s a disqualification of 12 to 16 months. There were no aggravating factors.”

Gibson, who pleaded guilty to a drink-drive charge, gave a reading in breath of 46mcg of alcohol. The legal limit is 35mcg.

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Defending himself at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, he accepted the prosecution case, and added: “I felt that I would be under the limit, so it’s my own ignorance.

“I admit that I was over the limit, but I was OK. It was a surprise to me because I hadn’t drank that much.”

Magistrates also fined Gibson, who is in employment, £350, with a £140 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

They offered him a place on a drink driver rehabilitation course, completion of which reduces a ban by around a quarter.

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