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South Shields dad gets second drink-drive conviction after getting caught on Ocean Road

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A DAD has been hit with a second drink-driving conviction 18 years after he was first banned from the road.

Anthony Johns was stopped by police after being spotted driving along Ocean Road in South Shields in the early hours of the morning without any front or rear headlights in operation.

When the 43-year wound down the window of his Ford Transit van to explain himself, they noticed that he smelled of alcohol and ordered him to take a roadside breath test.

Johns, of Farne Avenue, South Shields, was taken to the town’s police station, where he recorded a reading of 63 mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, nearly two times the legal limit of 35mcg.

He admitted driving with excess alcohol when he appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

Rehena Haque, prosecuting, said: “Police were on patrol at 4.30am on Saturday, April 4, when they saw the defendant driving a Ford Transit Connect van with no lights on. They caused the vehicle to stop.

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“When Johns wound down his window to speak to the police, he said he had forgotten to put the lights on the vehicle.

“The officers immediately smelled alcohol and asked him to take a roadside breath test, which proved positive.

“He does have previous convictions for driving offences.

“He was convicted of driving while disqualified in 2005 and 2006 and has a conviction for driving with excess alcohol in 1997.”

Valerie Bell, defending, said: “He has come to court and pleaded guilty immediately and fully co-operated with the police, both during the roadside procedure and at the police station.

“It was the Easter weekend, and he had been out drinking on Good Friday.

“He had come home but went out again and thought he would be ok.

“Clearly, he was over the limit, and he accepts that.

“He is aware that he will lose his licence.

“He does have previous offences of not driving legally, but he had a full licence and was insured at the time of the incident.

“There is a previous matter of driving with excess alcohol, but that was way back in 1997.

“He is a single parent and has a 14-year-old son.”

Johns was banned from driving for 18 months and fined £110, plus court costs of £85 and a £20 surcharge.