Sunderland man almost three-times limit when stopped by cops in South Tyneside after his works' Christmas party

A partygoer caught drink-driving after a Christmas works’ booze-up has been banned from the roads for almost two years.

By Gareth Crickmer
Friday, 22nd January 2021, 7:00 am

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Richard Wilkinson, 30, was spotted by police in his Volvo V40 on the Apollo Industrial Estate at Hebburn, South Tyneside, on Friday, December 18.

Wilkinson, of Shotley Avenue, Carley Hill, Sunderland, was ordered to pull over - and then gave a roadside breath test reading almost three times the limit.

He was arrested, and two further positive samples were provided at a police station, magistrates in South Tyneside heard.

South Tyneside Law Courts. Picture by FRANK REID.

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The lowest was 94mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Wilkinson has now been disqualified from driving for 23 months, handed 12-month community order and must do 60 hours of unpaid work.

Prosecutor Liz McGowan told the court: “This matter is one of driving with excess alcohol.

“Two police officers had been called to the location. A PC Sweeney hears a motor starting up at the rear of some premises, and he walks towards the road.

“He sees a Volvo V40 driving in his direction. He signals for the vehicle to stop, and he speaks to the driver.

“PC Sweeney then speaks to the passenger, and it is explained to the officers that they have been to a Christmas party. He could smell alcohol in the vehicle.

“His colleague takes Mr Wilkinson to one side for a roadside breath test, which is failed.

“Mr Wilkinson is taken to a police station where he gives two samples on the CAMIC device.

“The lowest reading is 94mcgs, which is well in excess of the limit.”.

Kevin Smallcombe, defending, said: “This gentleman has no previous convictions, but has historic cautions which are of no relevance.

“The word ‘party’ is used broadly. Officers attend and he is challenged for other reasons.

“Officers give an account that they can smell alcohol on him. There’s an early and timely guilty plea.”

As part of his community order, Wilkinson, who pleaded guilty to drink-driving, must carry out 20 days of rehabilitation work with the probation service and pay £85 court costs and a £95 victim surcharge.

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