Banned driver was double the drink-drive limit

A driver stopped by police for speeding in the early hours turned out to be more than twice the legal limit and banned as well, a court heard.

Burnley magistrates were told how jobless Shaun James Wood (26) was in the grip of an alcohol dependency and already on a community order when he got behind the wheel of his girlfriend’s car on March 6th. Wood, who has a record for drink-fuelled offending, had, according to his solicitor, tried acupuncture to help him battle his “demon.”

The court was told when Wood, formerly of Burnley, was breath-tested, he had 74 micrograms of alcohol in 100 mls of breath – the legal limit is 35. He had been disqualified for two years in 2009 after being convicted of aggravated vehicle taking, but was still banned because he had never taken an extended retest even though he had been ordered to by the court.

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The defendant, now of Failsworth, admitted driving with excess alcohol, driving while disqualified and no insurance, on Bank Street, Padiham. District Judge Alexandra Simmonds gave him 12 weeks in jail, suspended for a year, with a 30-day rehabilitation activity. He was banned for two years and has to take the extended test before he can legally drive again.

John Wright, in mitigation, said Wood was unemployed and his alcohol dependency had not helped him. He lived in Burnley with his long-term partner, but his relationship broke down, he lost his job and home and moved away.

He said: “He knows he has been foolish. This appears to have been an isolated incident.” He was getting help for his alcohol problem.