South Tyneside drink-driver hit with 40-month road ban after third offence

A South Tyneside motorist has been given a 40-month road ban for his second drink-drive conviction in less than a decade – and his third overall.

Gary Pearson, 43, drank at home in Debussy Court, Jarrow, but drove to pick up his partner at 1.20am on Saturday, August 13.

He was stopped by suspicious police who saw him weaving across the A183 and A19 dual carriageway and into Jarrow’s Seine Court.

Borough magistrates heard it was his third drink-drive offence and that he had been banned in 2007 as well as 2012.

South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

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They were told he had failed to learn his lessons from his earlier offences and had even sat a rehabilitation course into the dangers of being intoxicated at the wheel.

Prosecutor Clare Irving said: “He was noticed by officers because his vehicle is seen to be moving from side to side.

“He is clearly under the influence when stopped and he fails to provide a roadside breath test.

“He is arrested and cautioned. He complied with the breath test procedure at the police station.”

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Pearson’s test showed 59mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg. He pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

Mrs Irving said Pearson received a 40-month ban in 2012 for his second driving with excess alcohol crime.

His latest offence made him subject to a minimum three-year ban under the two strikes in 10 years rule, it was said.

Charlton Carr, defending, said: “It’s right down the scale but is aggravated by the second offence in 10 years.

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“He’s kept clean for nearly 10 years. He’d been at home and had had a drink when his girlfriend rang him to pick her up.

“He dropped her off and went back home. He went out to help his girlfriend when he shouldn’t have.

“It’s not a high reading as you normally see here. He’s a plater, and he’s on a decent salary.”

Magistrates banned Pearson from driving for 40 months and fined him £500, with a £200 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

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They offered him a second try on the drink-driver rehabilitation course, completion of which reduces a ban by a quarter.

Kay Gilbert, chair of the bench, told him his offence had been a “moment of madness” from which he needed to learn.