Drink-drive motorist took girlfriend to McDonald's drive-thru in South Shields while almost three times the limit

A motorist who took his girlfriend through a South Tyneside drive-thru while almost three-times the limit is starting a two-year roads ban.

By Gareth Crickmer
Friday, 14th February 2020, 4:23 pm

Shay Kelly, 22, of Kelly Road, Hebburn, must also pay over £700 in fines and court costs for an offence at a McDonalds to which he admitted to police had been “stupid”, a court heard.

Magistrates in South Tyneside were told officers found him parked in a bay in a Ford Fiesta outside the fast-food firm’s outlet at Newcastle Road, Simonside, South Shields, in the early hours of Sunday, January 12.

They had been tipped off by diner staff who are obliged to contact police if they suspect customers of being drunk at the wheel, it was said.

McDonald's, off Newcastle Road, in South Shields

When breathalysed, Kelly gave a reading of 99 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

The court heard weighbridge operator Kelly was just one of numerous motorists caught drink-driving in the car park, which is also used by customers of retailer Tesco.

Prosecutor Clare Irving said: “At about half past two in the morning the police are called to the area after the defendant goes through the drive-thru.

“The staff there are under obligation if they suspect someone is drunk to contact the police.

“He was parked in a bay and his girlfriend is in the car, and it was obvious that he’d had a few drinks. He said that he had been stupid.”

In mitigation, the court heard Kelly was of previous good character.

John Lee, chairman of the magistrates’ bench, told Kelly that drivers are consistently being caught driving at the McDonalds site.

He added: “The message has been out there for years and years – don’t drink and drive.

“We hear every week about people who are caught drink-driving on Newcastle Road.

“You’re a man of previous good character. Other than making a stupid mistake of drinking and driving, you probably have no criminal inclination at all.”

Kelly, who pleaded guilty to drink-driving, was also fined £583 and must pay £85 court costs and a £58 victim surcharge.