South Shields drink-driver caught after failing to move car at green light
A drink-driver who got caught when he failed to drive off as traffic signals turned green has been banned from the roads.
Brian Russell, 51, failed to move his Citroen vehicle when signals on a road in Heworth, Gateshead, told him it was good to go, a court heard.
Russell, of Lincoln Road, at Horsley Hill, South Shields, was seen dawdling by police at 4.30am on Monday, July 19, raising suspicions about his ability to drive.
Prosecutor Clare Irving told magistrates in South Tyneside officers tailed him before pulling him over on Ellison Main Gardens, which also in Heworth.
A breath test proved he was approaching twice the legal limit, leading to his disqualification from driving for 17 months.
Ms Irving told the court: “He was held temporarily at lights and the lights changed but the defendant didn’t move forward as the officers moved.
“Officers were suspicious, so they turned their vehicle around and followed as he drove into Stonegate Road.
“There was another male in the vehicle. When stopped, the defendant was displaying signs of drunkenness.
“He hasn’t been before the courts since 1997 and is rehabilitated.”
The court was told Russell gave an evidential breath test reading which showed 60mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.
Ms Irving said the reading level carried a driving ban range of between 17 and 22 months.
Russell defended himself in court and claimed it was the first time he had taken the wheel after drinking.
The unemployed family carer added: “I just made a mistake, I’ve never drank and driven before.
“I’ve been driving since I was 17 and I’ve never done anything like this before.”
Russell, who pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, was banned from the roads for 17 months.
Magistrates offered him the opportunity to sit a drink-driver rehabilitation course, which reduces a ban by a quarter on successful completion.
Russell initially rejected the offer but then agreed to consider sitting the course.
He was also fined £120, with £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge, with full payment due within seven days.