Man caught drink-driving in BMW in South Shields after faulty brake lights alerted police

A BMW driver has lost his licence – and says he will be made jobless – after faulty brake lights led to him being caught at the wheel after drinking.

Mark Powell, 43, was driving in Talbot Road in South Shields at 1.40am when police noticed his tail lights were out.

They pulled over Powell, who lives just yards away in Brownlow Road, and he admitted he had been boozing.

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A roadside breath test on Monday, April 19, gave a level of 74mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

The driver was stopped in Talbot RoadThe driver was stopped in Talbot Road
The driver was stopped in Talbot Road

And prosecutor Glenda Beck told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court the level had increased by the time a second test was performed at a police station.

Mrs Beck said: “Police were travelling on Talbot Road when they signalled for the driver of a BMW to stop.

“It was due to the car having two brake lights out. He appeared to be drunk.

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“He said that he had consumed alcohol that night, and he was breath tested at the roadside.

“He gave a reading of 74mcgs. He was cautioned and arrested and taken to Southwick police station.

“He then gave a reading of 77mcgs. As you know, the legal limit is 35mcgs.

“Mr Powell doesn’t have any similar offences. It was simply that the brake lights were out.

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“It’s a disqualification period of between 17 and 22 months.”

Pallet firm worker Powell, who pleaded guilty to drink-driving, defended himself in court and admitted his offence was “my own stupidity”.

He said his early morning work starts and lack of public transport meant he would not keep his employment.

And he added: “I apologise to the court. It’s going to cost me my job.”

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Paul Allen, chair of the bench, told him: “You’ve pleaded guilty to the first opportunity and have shown genuine remorse.

“We are going to give you the lowest ban that we can.”

He disqualified Powell from driving for 17 months and fined him £220, with £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

Powell accepted the offer of a place on a drink-driver rehabilitation course, which reduces a ban by a quarter on successful completion.

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