Pendle drink-driver had been drinking cocktails before near miss

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A welding inspector was found to be almost three times the limit, after driving 40 miles from Lytham to Nelson, a court heard.

Richard Leigh, who says he had a double vodka while waiting for the police, had been followed by a member of the public, who had called officers, after he narrowly missed a car.

He later blew 97 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Burnley magistrates were told how the 50-year-old had shared a bottle of wine with his partner and downed cocktails before getting behind the wheel for his journey home. She was a passenger in the Alfa Romeo.

Mr Andrew Robinson, prosecuting, said Leigh was caught at around 6pm after a near miss with another motorist. He said the defendant was interviewed.

The prosecutor continued: "He accepted he had been in Lytham. He accepted he wasn’t in a fit state to drive home.”

Probation officer Elliot Smith told the hearing Leigh’s partner was from America, had struggled to get work, got a job and they went to Lytham for a lunch -time celebration.

The officer continued: "Clearly, he’s quite worried about today’s hearing in relation to his employment and how it will affect him. He has not slept for around two weeks because of anxiety about how his employers are going to treat him.”

Leigh, of Barkerhouse Road, Nelson, admitted driving with excess alcohol in Barkerhouse Road, on October 6th.

He was given a 12-month community order, with 60 hours unpaid work and must pay £85 costs and a £90 victim surcharge. The defendant was banned for 23 months.