Repeat drink driver has road ban cut

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A REPEAT drink driver has won a reduction in his road ban after persuading a court he needs his licence back to work in Hartlepool.

Dean Armstrong was disqualified from driving for three years in June 2012 after admitting being twice the limit.

Tests showed he had 84microgrammes of alcohol in 100millitres of breath, with the limit being 35microgrammes.

It followed on from a disqualification in November 2011 after failing to provide a specimen and one in May 2001, when he was banned for 12 months for drink driving, with driving while banned and speeding offences also on his record.

Two previous offers to take a drink drive rehabilitation course were not taken up by Armstrong, with the 43-year-old telling the court he could not afford it because he had been on benefits and unwell.

Peterlee Magistrates’ Court was told by prosecutor Sarah Traynor that Durham Constabulary opposed his application to remove his disqualification, as it had when he made a similar effort to have it shortened last June.

She said: “Police have strong concerns about Mr Armstrong drink driving and would be a danger to other road users.”

Armstrong, who gave a care of address as West Street in Blackhall Colliery, told the court he has an agency job with a firm in Brenda Road, Hartlepool, and hoped it would become permanent.

He said he had lost jobs on previous temporary contracts because delays in public transport made him late and his shifts started at various times of the day.

He added taxi fares of £4.60 and weekly bus fares of £22 were expensive and the journeys took up time.

“I realise what I did was wrong and I should be duly punished, but I want to get back to a family sort of life where I work during the week and have days out at the weekend,” he said.

“It’s made it very hard for me. I’ve worked there for nine weeks now, and they could keep me on after 12, but I’ve been told that before.

“I’m a family man.”

The bench decided he can now apply for his licence back, but cannot drive until it is issued, with the Secretary Of State likely to ask him to undergo a medical.