Driver drank five pints and drove home ‘because there were no taxis’

Joseph Graham failed a police breathaliser test
Joseph Graham failed a police breathaliser test

A drunk driver has been banned from the roads after an alert cop saw him trying to hide from view.

The officer spotted Joseph Graham, 63, reverse his car back from a junction as he approached in a police vehicle, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.

Clare Irving, prosecuting, told the court: “It was about 11.35pm on October 27 and the officer saw the defendant’s Nissan Qashqai at the junction of Cleadon Lane and Tileshed Lane.

“The car reversed, giving the officer the impression the driver was waiting for him to pass in his patrol car.”

He stopped the Qashqai, and the officer could smell alcohol on the breath of the driver.

“He later blew 52 in breath, which is over the legal limit of 35.”

Graham, of Avondale Terrace, West Boldon, admitted driving with excess alcohol.

He was of previous good character.

Richard Rodger, defending, said: “Mr Graham was not trying to evade the police patrol. He had taken a wrong turn.

“Earlier that evening he had parked at a nearby Metro station and gone to the Arena in Newcastle to see a band. He had four or five pints and stopping drinking by 8pm.

“His intention was to leave his car at the station and get a taxi, but there were none available.

“Thinking the passage of time would have made him sober enough to drive, he foolishly took the decision to do so.”

The court heard Graham drives about 25,000 miles a year for work.

Mr Rodger said: “I’m bound to say he will not lose his job for being banned, and he is due to retire next year.”

Graham was disqualified from driving for 12 months, and ordered to pay £490 in fines and costs.