A Sunderland chef has been banned from the roads after going out boozing after work with pals – and being caught behind the wheel of his car trying to drive home.
Dylan Kelly, 22, of Plains Road, Plains Farm, may have realised he was too drunk to drive part way into his journey, a court heard.
He pulled into a layby on the south-bound 70mph A19 dual carriageway and stopped, unaware he was already being tailed by police.
They had been tipped off by a member of the public who had spotted him on the roads in his 66-plate Seat Ibiza, magistrates in South Tyneside were told.
When breathalysed, Kelly, who works at the Littlehaven Hotel in South Shields, recorded a reading of 64mg of alcohol – almost twice the drink-drive limit.
Prosecutor Paul Anderson told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court that Kelly was stopped at 4.30am on Saturday, April 13, after being seen driving erratically.
Ritchie Rogers, defending, said Kelly had gone to the pub after work intending to just have one drink but had then carried on drinking lager at a friend’s house.
He told the court his client, who had been driving for two-and-a-half years, realised he should not have been at the wheel and had voluntarily pulled over.
Mr Rogers added: “The vehicle was driving along the A19 in the direction of Sunderland at about 40ph.
“What the police officer says is that without any indication that the driver of the car behind was the police, the driver of the Seat pulled into a layby.
“He realised that he shouldn’t have been driving and pulled into the layby and didn’t know the police were behind him.
“He was clearly intoxicated, and his lowest reading was 64. He was breath-tested twice.
“He is of previous good character and he needs the car because he works shifts.
“He’s been very candid with me and with the police. He admits that he’s been foolish.”
Magistrates banned Kelly, who admitted a charge of drink driving, for 17 months.
He was fined £300, reduced from £450 due to his early guilty plea, and ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
The drink-driving limit is 35mg of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.