Drink-driver caught trying to start car with pliers

Burnley Magistrates' Court

Burnley Magistrates' Court

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A drink-driver more than three times the limit was caught when police spotted him trying to start his car with a pair of pliers, a court heard.

James Brogan (28) was at traffic lights with his hazard warnings flashing when an officer pulled up at about 6-45pm and went to speak to him. He smelled of drink and had a can of Stella in the door pocket. Brogan blew 116 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath at the police station. The legal limit is 35.

Burnley magistrates were told Brogan, who had been to a family party with lots of drinking but no eating the day before, had just picked up the vehicle for his new job and wasn't insured either. He had now lost the employment.

The defendant, of Amersham Grove, Burnley, admitted driving whilst unfit through drink on Hammerton Street, in the town and no insurance, on June 26th. He was given an eight week curfew, between 8pm and 8am, was banned for 24 months and was told to pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

Glen Smith (defending) said Brogan had been to a family celebration the day before and there had been a lot of drinking.

He had just got a new job and bought a new car. The solicitor continued: "He got up in the early afternoon, he felt, he says, OK and went out to collect that vehicle."

Mr Smith continued: "The defendant had not thought at that stage about the insurance. He was going to get it the following day. He was driving back home and the key had broken. The car stalled and he was tying to restart it."

The solicitor added: "It's his first appearance before the court for many years. He has lost his job now."