Expired MoT stop led to drink-driving ban

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A MOTORIST has been banned from the road for three years – after being caught over the drink-drive limit by police who spotted he didn’t have a valid test certificate.

Lee Rushton was parked in Commercial Road, South Shields, when officers on duty ran a number plate test on his vehicle and found his MoT was expired.

But when police spoke to the 31-year-old about the offence, his partner mentioned they had been out drinking for the night.

Rushton then failed a roadside breath test and was arrested. When taken to South Shields Police Station, he gave a reading of 61 mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – above the legal limit of 35 mcg.

The court heard that Rushton had been out with his girlfriend and had drank one pint and a bottle of WKD – but he believed the alcohol he had consumed from a night out the previous evening may have led to him being over the drink-drive limit.

Rushworth initially denied the charge of driving with excess alcohol, but changed his plea ahead of his trial at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

He had previously admitted not having a valid test certificate.

Stan Sudworth, prosecuting, said: “Officers on duty at 2.45am on Saturday, March 8 saw a vehicle on Commercial Road. They ran a number plate check and found the MoT was out of date.

“Police spoke to the defendant and gave him a roadside breath test. he recorded a reading of 61 mcg.”

Paul Kennedy, defending, said: “The police were talking to him about the MoT when his partner talks about what they had been doing that night.

“The police then give him a roadside breath test.”

Rushton, of Lingshaw, Gateshead, had a previous drink-driving conviction in 2008.

Magistrates banned him from driving for three years for his latest offence, fined him £329 and ordered him to pay court costs of £150 and a victim surcharge of 333.