Businessman admits drink driving charge after being spotted buying strawberry daiquiri at Boldon Asda at 3.20am

An early-hours trip to the supermarket to buy alcohol landed a businessman in court on a drink driving charge.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 6:00 am
The Asda store at Boldon Colliery.

Supermarket staff at Asda, in Boldon Colliery, alerted police to a driver who appeared to be drunk buying strawberry daiquiri.

Officers were called to the store at 3.20am on September 27, because members of staff feared a shopper who had driven to the store had been drinking.

Lee Ranson Tweddle, 42, of Fawley Close, in Boldon Colliery, pleaded guilty to a charge of driving with excess alcohol when he appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Eve McDonnell said when officers arrived at the store they watched and saw Tweddle drive out of the car park and pulled him over.

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She said: "Mr Tweddle's eyes were glazed, his speech slurred and he had a can of strawberry daiquiri. He was drunk."

The court heard the defendant, who is a married businessman with three young children, has three previous convictions for drink driving.

On this occasion he was found to have 55 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, with the limit being 35.

Kate Lewis, defending, said: "He said he was drinking heavily the previous night until about 10pm and was in Asda at 3.20am so there was a long gap.

"He said he was in Asda to purchase items for his holidays, he was due to go the following day."

Ms Lewis said her client was up at that time of the morning to give a business colleague a lift to work.

She said he is upset at putting himself and his family in this situation of being in court.

She said: "He is very remorseful for this.

"Today has been quite a wake-up call for him."

A spokesman for the probation service said Tweddle admitted he has an issue with alcohol and had paid for himself to go into rehabilitation twice.

She said: "It does seem to be quite a significant issue with alcohol abuse.

"It seems like for many years and for many different reasons he has turned to alcohol."

The case was adjourned until November 8 for further pre-sentence reports and Tweddle was given an interim driving ban and unconditional bail.