Sunderland uninsured driver caught in VW Golf on Tile Shed Lane after drinking four cans of Foster's - police spotted empty cans on back seat

An uninsured drink-driver ended up in court after getting behind the wheel despite having been drinking Foster’s lager.

Boozy Matthew Smith, 35, of Branston Street, Southwick, Sunderland, confessed to police at the roadside he had had four pints.

And empty cans of the Australian brew had also been left in clear and not cloudy view on the back seat of his VW Golf for police to see, a court heard.

The joiner was pulled over in the early hours of Saturday, January 9, in Tile shed Lane, East Boldon, after a police patrol check initially revealed he was driving without insurance.

The driver was stopped in Tile Shed Lane


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He is now starting a 16-month roads’ ban after District Judge Paul Currer told him he did not believe he felt fit to drive as Smith had claimed.

Judge Currer told him: “It was 4.45 in the morning and you saw fit to drive your car after having four cans.

“Having four cans is in no way okay. I don’t accept that you thought that.

“What makes matters worse was that you were driving without insurance.”


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Prosecutor Tracey Wood told the South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court hearing: “Officers had cause to stop a VW Golf which was driving towards Sunderland.

“They have seen the manner of driving and have done a check which revealed there was no insurance.

“Asked if he had insurance, he said, ‘No’. Inside the police vehicle, they could smell alcohol on his breath.

“He said, ‘I’ve had four pints’. He was cautioned and arrested.


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“The officer checked the defendant’s vehicle and could see there were empty cans of Foster’s on the back seats.”

Smith was taken to Sunderland’s Southwick police station, where he blew over the limit on an evidential CAMIC device.

The court heard Smith, who pleaded guilty to drink-driving and driving without insurance, gave a reading of 55mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Nicholas Moore, defending, said: “On that night he had been to a friend’s house and had drunk four cans but he thought he was okay to drive.


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“He just didn’t bother to get the insurance. He had been hassled by his partner to get it but he just hadn’t bothered.”

Smith was also fined £350 and must pay £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

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