A MAN has been branded a disgrace after getting behind the wheel while nearly twice the legal alcohol limit for driving.
Jonathan Bell was stopped by police after a car he was driving was seen swerving from side to side across a South Shields road at 2.30am on Friday, November 8.
Bell did not even have a driving licence, the court heard.
He had picked up three friends and was travelling along Westoe Road in a Volkswagen Polo when he was pulled over.
Bell was arrested after giving a positive roadside breath test.
The 26-year-old, of George Scott Street in South Shields, was banned from the road for 22 months after pleading guilty at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday to drink-driving.
He also admitted driving without insurance or a valid licence.
Sarah Guest, prosecuting, said: “Officers were on duty at 2.30am when they spotted the vehicle, with four people inside, swerving from side to side and travelling very slowly.
“Police pulled over the vehicle, and the driver displayed signs of having consumed alcohol and was given a roadside test.
“He was then taken to the police station and recorded a reading of 64 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 milliletres of breath. The legal limit is 35.”
Laura Johnson, defending, said: “He was driving to pick up some friends. He accepts he had consumed alcohol and entered an immediate guilty plea.
“He doesn’t have a driving licence or insurance for the vehicle.”
Chairman of the bench Malcolm Grady said: “We find your behaviour completely irresponsible and quite frankly disgraceful.
“You not only put your own life at risk while drink-driving but, perhaps more seriously, you put other lives at risk.
“We are treating this as a serious matter.
“We hope you are aware of the seriousness of your actions, which are made more serious by the fact you are not a driver at all.”
Bell was also fined £110 each for the three offences and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £20 and costs of £85, making a total court bill of £435.