Nelson drink-driver was on 5am trip to get cigarettes

Burnley Magistrates Court
Burnley Magistrates Court

A Nelson drink-driver caught at 5.25am was a case of “the morning after the night before,” a court heard.

Rytis Sakalauskas had been downing cans of beer with friends the previous evening, had gone to bed, woken early, and decided to go and buy cigarettes from the closest garage.

Burnley magistrates were told 26-year-old Sakalauskas blew 55 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath at the police station after he was stopped on Manchester Road in Nelson. The legal limit is 35. The defendant, who is from Lithuania, had no previous convictions.

Mrs Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said: "The only aggravating feature is there were passengers in the vehicle.”

Mr Philip Turner, defending, said Sakalauskas pledged guilty at the first opportunity. He had not worked for about two months as he had hurt his back.

The solicitor continued: "He doesn’t claim benefits. He has been living off his savings from working in Ireland. He is staying at the house of a friend. It’s his intention, before long, to return to Lithuania to get treatment for his back in the hope he will then be able to find gainful employment."

The defendant, of Elizabeth Street in Nelson, admitted driving with excess alcohol on September 14th. He was fined £80 with £85 costs and a £32 victim surcharge, and was banned for a year.