Man, 71, caught drink-driving on birthday night out after urinating against The Word in South Shields

A last tipple with pals put a 71-year-old South Tyneside birthday boy over the drink-drive limit, a court heard.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 4:55 am

But it was not Gilbert McMillan’s driving that alerted police to him having had one too many on Saturday, August 21.

It was the fact they saw him urinating against the wall of The Word library in South Shields on his way back to his car.

McMillan, of Oak Avenue, near the Nook, also South Shields, drank wine while out to celebrate his big day.

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Police spotted the defendant urinating against the side of The Word.

But they popped into a pub while returning to their motor and pals bought him a short.

Prosecutor Sarah Malkinson told magistrates in South Tyneside: “Officers saw the defendant urinating against The Word library.

“They then saw him walk towards the car park at Harton Quays and get into a red VW Polo.

“They saw the vehicle exiting, and stopped it. A female was in the passenger seat who he stated was his wife.

“The defendant failed a roadside breath test, and he was taken into custody.”

Ms Malkinson said retired McMillan gave a breath test reading of 59mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

He is now starting a 16-month roads’ ban after pleading guilty to drink-driving.

The court heard he has 19 previous convictions, including one of driving unfit from 1972, but none since 1985.

Alaister Naismith, defending, said: “On the day in question, he’d been out to celebrate his birthday with his wife.

“He had had some wine but not enough to put him over the limit, but he went into a pub where there were some friends.

“They offered him a drink which he thought was coke, but a double may have been put in it.

“He was last before the courts some 36 years ago and so for this offence he is of good character.

“He accepts that he’s going to get a ban and a fine.”

Magistrates also fined McMillan £150, with £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

They offered him the option to sit a drink-drive rehabilitation course, which reduces a ban by a quarter on successful completion.

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