South Shields man stopped by police for 'erratic' driving less than a mile from his home was three times the drink drive limit

A motorist got behind the wheel when he was three times the alcohol limit for driving because he was worried about his wife, a court heard.

Thursday, 8th August 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 8th August 2019, 10:58 am

Brian Gray was stopped just one minute from his home in South Shields after being spotted ‘driving erratically’ by officers.

The 51-year-old, of Orpen Avenue, had drank ‘some cans’ in front of the TV while waiting for his wife to come home from work.

Michael Gibson, mitigating, told the court Gray suffers from severe anxiety and low mood – and became increasingly anxious when he did not hear from his wife.

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Gray appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Mr Gibson said: “He began to panic. He rang her and she didn’t answer, therefore he began to panic more.”

Gray planned to drive to Ocean Beach Pleasure Park to collect his wife, but soon turned back when he realised he was breaking the law.

He was stopped a tenth of a mile away from home on Saturday, July 20.

The solicitor added: “He is appalled at his behaviour.”

Gray admitted drink-driving at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court. He had 106 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson said Gray, who works at North Tyneside Council, has two previous convictions for excess alcohol from 1996 and 2011.

He is currently signed off due to his severe anxiety and is on a waiting list for counselling.

Magistrates banned Gray from driving for three years and gave him a 12-month community order, with 15 days of rehabilitation activity requirement.

He must pay £85 in costs and £90 victim surcharge.