A butcher found more than twice the limit claimed he had been guided on how much alcohol he could have by a drink drivers’ rehabilitation handbook, a court heard.
Pawel Zbigniew Grabowski (24) told Burnley magistrates his friend had the handbook after being stopped for the same offence, He added: “Based on what was in the handbook, I only had two pints.”
The hearing was told Grabowski had been spoken to by the police after he drove in a pedestrian controlled area on Hargreaves Street, Burnley. He got out, left the handbrake off and the vehicle rolled away.
Grabowski, of Charles Street, Nelson, admitted driving with excess alcohol on August 1st.
The defendant, who works at Morrisons, was fined £275 and told to pay £85 costs, a £28 victim surcharge and a £150 criminal court charge.
He was banned from driving for 20 months.
The Bench chairman told him: “You were obviously impaired, as you drove on a pedestrian area which is very dangerous.”
The defendant was offered the drink drivers’ rehabilitation course - similar to the one he says his friend went on and got the handbook.
Prosecutor Miss Parveen Akhtar said the defendant was seen at 2am, by an officer in Burnley town centre. He was driving down Hargreaves Street towards Hammerton Street, in a pedestrian controlled area, committing a traffic offence.
The car then stopped at lights and the officer walked over and gesticulated for the driver to open the door. Grabowski got out, didn’t put the handbrake on and the vehicle rolled away.
Miss Akhtar said the defendant’s breath smelled of alcohol, he failed a roadside breath test and was taken to the police station, where he blew 82 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit is 35.
Grabowski, who was not represented by a solicitor, spoke through an interpretor.
He told the court he only had two pints because it wouldn’t make him over the limit. He added: “I went to collect my sister because she was unwell. I apologise.”