Motorist caught twice drink-drive limit on Northern Spire Bridge on way to pick up friend kicked out by wife

The breath of a salesman has led to a driving ban.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 4:55 am

Gareth Burdett, 33, was caught smelling of booze in his new Renault Megane on Sunderland’s Northern Spire Bridge.

Police pulled seller Burdett, of Kitchener Terrace, Grangetown, over because his 61-plate motor flagged up as not being insured.

In fact, it was covered - but they realised he was sozzled when they spoke to him at the roadside and could smell alcohol.

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Gareth Burdett, 33, was caught smelling of booze in his new Renault Megane on Sunderland’s Spire Bridge.

A breath test on Sunday, April 4, showed he had 83 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than twice the 35 limit.

He is now starting a 20-month roads ban after being told by magistrates in South Tyneside his high level reading made it a “serious” offence.

Prosecutor Grace Taylor said: “Officers were driving a marked vehicle when they saw a car as having no insurance, and he was pulled over.

“They spoke to the defendant, and he stated that he was just out for a drive because he had just bought the vehicle.

“They noticed that his eyes were glazed, his speech was slurred, and he smelled of intoxicating liquor.

“A roadside breath test was done, and it was positive for alcohol.”

Ms Taylor said Burdett was taken to a police station, where he gave two breath samples on the evidential CAMIC device, the lowest being 83 microgrammes.

Burdett, who represented himself in court and pleaded guilty to drink-driving, has no previous convictions.

In mitigation, Burdett, who told the hearing he works in sales, said: “I apologise. It was out of character, it wasn’t planned.

“I was supposed to be going to a friend’s barbeque but at the last minute he cancelled on me.

“Another friend’s wife kicked him out and I wanted to pick him up. I shouldn’t have driven the car. I’ve learnt my lesson.”

Magistrates told Burdett that 83 microgrammes was “quite a significant level of intoxication”.

As well as the ban, he was fined £300 and must pay £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

Burdett was offered the opportunity to sit a drink-driver rehabilitation course, which reduces a ban by a quarter on successful completion.

Otherwise, he will be disqualified until January 27, 2023.

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