Drink-driver stumbled into petrol station

Burnley Magistrates' Court

Burnley Magistrates' Court

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A drink-driver almost three times the limit was caught after he pulled up next to police at a petrol station and stumbled into the premises, a court heard.

Burnley magistrates were told how Neil Kennedy (51) had struggled to get out of his Fiat Punto in the midnight incident at Rossendale Road Service Station in the town.

Kennedy went on to blow 89 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath at the roadside and then 90 microgrammes at the police station. The legal limit is 35. He had no previous convictions.

The defendant, of Bristol Street, Burnley, admitted driving with excess alcohol on September 24th. He was fined £350, with £85 costs and a £35 victim surcharge and was banned for 23 months.

Mrs Tracy Yates (prosecuting) told the hearing police were parked at the garage when a Punto pulled up next to their vehicle.

She continued: "Their attention was drawn to the driver as he had the car in neutral but his foot on the accelerator, causing the engine to rev. He struggled to get out of his car and stumbled into the service station. The officers could see staff looking at them and looking at the man stumbling around."

Mrs Yates said the defendant came out and the officers spoke to him. He was arrested and taken to the police station after the positive breath test.

Kennedy, who was not represented by a solicitor, handed the justices a letter. He said he didn't want to say anything further.

Bench chairman Mr John James told the defendant: "It's probably fair to say this is very much a one-off scenario."

Mr James said fortunately Kennedy did not collide with a vehicle or, thankfully, a pedestrian, but the situation could have been so different, as well the defendant knew. The chairman added: "You were totally and utterly unfit to drive."