Hebburn teen caught drink driving after getting behind wheel to pick up partner after she thought she was followed

He had a call from his partner saying she thought she was being followed and went to supprot her.

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An emboldened South Tyneside teenager who feared his girlfriend was in danger drove to pick her up after consuming booze and with days’ old drugs in his system, a court heard.

Alex Earle, 19, jumped out of bed at home in The Cornfields, Hebburn, when she phoned to say she may be being followed as she walked home alone.

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But the apprentice made it little more than 50m before he came to his senses and pulled his Peugeot 206 to the side of the same road on Friday, April 7.

By then, police had been tipped-off and a blood test after his arrest put him over twice the drink drive limit - and illegal drug ketamine was also present.

Borough magistrates heard he had drunk while socialising with friends hours earlier and had consumed the drug several days before, due to peer pressure.

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They scolded him for driving after downing the drink and drug cocktail – and banned him from the roads for 28 months, with fines and costs of over £800.

Prosecutor Gurjot Kaur said: “Officers received a report that there was a suspected drink driver. They have located his vehicle.

“He appeared to be intoxicated due to being unsteady on his feet.

“A search was conducted, and a small bag of white powder was found. It was tested and found to be amphetamine.

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“He did provide two breath test samples but the differences between them were such that bloods were taken.”

Earle, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to drink driving, drug driving and possession of amphetamine.

He gave a reading of 216mg of alcohol in blood. The legal limit is 80mg. His reading for ketamine was not less than 25mcg, against a legal limit is 20mcg.

Sophie Allinson, defending, said Earle had taken a taxi home from his drinking session and had later driven only because his partner had phoned.

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And she insisted he had pocketed the amphetamine under pressure from pals and had intended to dispose of it and not consume it.

Ms Allinson added: “He has been hugely naïve and hugely immature. He is wracked with shame and remorse.

“He was in bed, getting ready to sleep, when he was contacted by his girlfriend who was in a distressed state.

“She was walking home and feared someone was following her. He drove about 50m and came to his senses.”

Magistrates fined Earle £560, with a £224 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.