Pendle drink-driver didn't think 'for one minute' he would be over the limit

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A Pendle drink-driver caught after a night out got behind the wheel to avoid a parking ticket, a court heard.

Richard Lever (37) didn't normally drink. He had had some alcohol but then went on lemonade before getting behind the wheel in Burnley and going against a "No Entry" sign.

He blew 40 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath when tested at the police station. The legal limit is 35.

Burnley magistrates were told how Lever, who works nights at Fort Vale Engineering, didn't think "for one minute" he would be over the limit.

Mrs Tracy Yates, prosecuting, told the hearing that around 1-20am, police saw a car going through a "No Entry" road and followed it to Tesco, where it pulled up in the car park.

The defendant got out, was unsteady on his feet and his eyes were glazed. He gave a positive roadside breath test. Lever had no previous convictions.

Mr David Lawson, defending, said Lever had had a couple of drinks and had intended leaving his car parked up "until he was told he was in danger of having his car ticketed".

He remained at the nightclub for some time and drank lemonade. He then got into his car, went past the police and drove about a quarter-of-a-mile to Tesco, where he was stopped.

The solicitor went on: "He tells me he is an occasional drinker."

The defendant, who was suffering from depression and had had a bereavement, didn't think for one minute he would be over the limit.

Mr Lawson said a ban would cause Lever some difficulty getting to hospital appointments. He added :" This was clearly a negligent act rather than a deliberate one."

The defendant, of Craven Street, Barnoldswick, admitted driving with excess alcohol on Manchester Road, Burnley, on July 6th. He was fined £400, with a £40 victim surcharge and £85 costs and was banned for a year.