Pendle drink-driver caught almost twice the limit thought he was fit to drive

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A drink-driver who struck whilst on a suspended jail term has kept his freedom.

Transporter/ handyman Mark Sturgeon, who was almost twice the legal limit, was stopped in a tipper panel van by police at about 8-50pm.

He told them he had had a couple of pints of beer and finished his last one 20 minutes before. He blew 60 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath at the police station. The legal limit is 35.

The court was told the 49-year-old defendant had 17 offences on his record and in February received 12 weeks in prison, suspended for a year, for a domestic-related offence.

Mr David Lawson, defending Sturgeon, said he had a few beers after work and thought he was fit to drive.

The solicitor continued: "It was a reckless act rather than an intentional one. Police stopped him and then smelled alcohol on his breath. He cooperated.”

Mr Lawson added: "He is a hard-working man but is no longer going to be able to do the transporter job."

Sturgeon, of Lancaster Gate, Nelson, admitted driving with excess alcohol on Leeds Road, Nelson, on July 6th. He was fined £253, with a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs and was banned for 17 months.

The Bench increased the suspended sentence from 12 months to 18 months, telling the defendant the excess alcohol offence was dissimilar to the one the term was imposed for, Sturgeon had a child to look after and had not offended for some time.