A forklift driver has been banned from the roads again after admitting his fourth drink-driving offence.
Gary Prescott, 27, was seen driving erratically on the A690 at Houghton Cut, Sunderland, in the early hours of Saturday, October 1, Sunderland magistrates heard.
At 2,30am, his friend woke him up to say his grandmother had fallen It had been some hours since his last drink and he agreed, foolishly, to run his friend back to HoughtonIan Jordan, defending
He has now been disqualified from driving for 40 months after testing 54 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath – the legal limit being 35.
Prosecutor Laura Lax said police saw the blue Ford Focus crossing over the centre markings of the road on a number of occasions.
The police vehicle activated the blue lights and sirens, and Prescott’s car came to a stop on the off-slip to Houghton.
When officers spoke to Prescott, they found his breath smelled of alcohol and that his speech was slurred.
He failed a roadside breath test and was arrested.
Miss Lax said Prescott had 39 previous offences on his record, including three of drink-driving, dating back to 2009.
Prescott, of Charles Street, Boldon Colliery, admitted driving with excess alcohol.
Ian Jordan, defending, said: “Mr Prescott is in full-time employment, having worked hard since his release from custody five years ago.
“He had been out with his friend in the afternoon after he finished work at 3pm.
“He and his friend had consumed alcohol and returned to his girlfriend’s house is Sunderland. They stopped drinking at 9pm or 10pm.
“At 2,30am, his friend woke him up to say his grandmother had fallen.
“It had been some hours since his last drink and he agreed, foolishly, to run his friend back to Houghton.”
Mr Jordan said the three previous excess alcohol convictions happened when Prescott had been drinking heavily to cope with the death of his grandmother.
He added that the driving ban will cause him difficulty in getting to work in Peterlee.
Prescott was also fined £300, with £85 costs and £30 victim surcharge.