Drink driver banned after stopping at McDonald's
A comfort break led to a driving ban for a drink driver.
Peter Yates was seen by a police patrol approaching his car in the car park of McDonald's in Gateshead.
Officers spoke to him and formed the impression he was over the limit, South Shields' Magistrates' Court heard.
"It was about 3.30am," said Rachel Glover, prosecuting.
"Police saw Yates' car parked at what they describe as an odd angle.
"He emerged from the restaurant, and officers went to speak to him.
"They formed the impression he had been drinking because his speech was slurred, and he smelled of alcohol,"
The court heard Yates said he had driven from the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, and had stopped at McDonald's because he needed to use the toilet.
"He was arrested on suspicion of drink driving," added Ms Glover.
"A breath test at the police station gave a reading of 75, compared to the legal limit of 35.
"Mr Yates was a man of previous good character."
Yates, 34, of Roundhill, Jarrow, admitted driving with excess alcohol on April 10.
Representing himself, he said: "I let myself down, and I am sorry for that.
"This happened at a bad time in my life.
"I would like to get my licence back as soon as I can because I have a family."
Yates was banned from driving for 20 months, and ordered to pay £489 in fines and costs.
The bench gave him the option of taking a drink driver's rehabilitation course which will reduce the length of his ban by a quarter.