Three times limit driver from Sunderland told cops he didn't mind car being seized as it 'only cost £250'

A Sunderland motorist caught three times the limit told police he did not mind his car being confiscated because ‘it only cost £250’.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 4:55 am

Michael Harrison, 31, was stopped at the junction of Wood Street and Ailesbury Street, Millfield, when his Ford Focus flagged up as being uninsured.

And when breath tested at the roadside Harrison, of Kirkdale Square, Downhill, gave a positive reading for booze.

Prosecutor Glenda Beck told magistrates in South Tyneside he was blasé about the risk of losing his car.

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Michael Harrison, 31, was stopped at the junction of Wood Street and Ailesbury Street, Millfield.
Michael Harrison, 31, was stopped at the junction of Wood Street and Ailesbury Street, Millfield.

She said: “Police were on mobile patrol on Friday, March 12, when they saw this man driving a Ford Focus in Chester Road.

“They follow, and the car comes to a stop at the junction. Checks on the police national computer show it has no insurance.

“One officer approaches the car and speaks to the passenger, and the other speaks to the defendant.

“He was breath tested at the roadside and it came back positive. He said the car only cost £250, and so didn’t mind it being confiscated.

“He was taken to the police station where two breath tests were undertaken on the CAMIC device.”

Mrs Beck said the lowest of the two readings showed 103 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

She also revealed Harrison had a previous drink-drive conviction from June 2010.

Gerry Armstrong, defending, said: “Mr Harrison has for many years suffered from various mental health diagnoses.

“On occasions, when treatment hasn’t been available, he’s self-medicated with alcohol and illegal substances.

“He was drinking on this night, it was one of those bad days and not one of the good days.

“When he saw the police, he immediately stopped. He was compliant about what had happened.

“During the course of the pandemic, his mental health has deteriorated. On occasions, he has self-medicated with alcohol.

“He is very sorry, and he appreciates the consequences of driving over the limit.”

Harrison, who pleaded guilty to drink driving and driving without insurance, was banned from driving for 28 months for the booze offence.

He was also given a 12-month community order, with a requirement of 15 days of rehabilitation work with the Probation Service.

There was no separate penalty for the insurance charge.

He was fined £40, with a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

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