Sunderland granddad who drove while “drunk as a skunk” hit with four-year road ban

A Sunderland granddad who drove while “drunk as a skunk” has been banned from the roads.

By Gareth Crickmer
Friday, 21st January 2022, 4:55 am

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Drink-driver Stephen Beedall, 56, was almost four times the limit when tracked by police after warning calls from the public.

His offence on Thursday, July 29, was the third time Beedall, of Smith Grove, Ryhope, had committed the offence since 2004.

The last same time was in 2018, making him subject to a minimum three-year disqualification under the two-strike 10-year rule.

The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court

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But magistrates in South Tyneside added an extra year in handing him a 48-month ban – and slammed him for driving while boozed up.

Gerald Tierney, chair of the bench, told Beedall he needed to be “weened” away from the idea of drink driving.

He said: “It’s a wonder you didn’t hit anything or kill someone or have an accident. The level of alcohol is shocking.”

The court heard Beedall was caught committing the offence in his home street.

He gave a breath test reading of 135mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.

Despite the reading, prosecutor Paul Anderson said Beedall pleaded not guilty, only to later change his plea.

Mr Anderson added: “It’s pretty straightforward. Police received a report of someone who was driving who was drunk as a skunk.

“He is stopped and blows 135mcg at the police station, it’s just a shade under four times the limit.

“It’s a minimum disqualification of three years but given the reading, you may want something significantly more.”

As well as his ban, Beedall was also made subject to an 18-month community order, with a requirement of 25 rehabilitation days.

He was fined £180 and must pay £150 court costs and a £95 victim surcharge.