A DRIVER almost three times over the drink-drive limit was driving home to Newcastle when he was stopped by police near Skipton after they saw him drifting across the road.

Mark Taylor, 53, had been drinking all day in Clitheroe with a friend, and had planned to stay overnight before returning home to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, heard Skipton Magistrates Court.

But, there had been an argument between his friend and his friend’s partner, and neither he or his friend were welcome to stay, the court was told on Friday.

Taylor had been driving on the A59 at Bolton Abbey at about 2.40am on September 5 when he was seen by police.

He was driving at about 20mph on the 60mph road, and the car was swerving, and crossing the central line, said prosecutor, Nadine Clough.

He was stopped, was ‘clearly intoxicated’ and slumped in the driver’s seat, and when asked to get out, had to be helped to stand, said Ms Clough.

Taylor provided a positive roadside breath test and was taken to the police station where he was found to have 104 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Taylor, who admitted drink driving, had two previous convictions for a similar offences, but going back more than 10 years, the court heard. He had also previously attended drink- driver rehabilitation courses.

Andrew Watson, for the probation service, said Taylor had displayed poor thinking after admitting to consuming more than 20 units of alcohol during the day.

He had slept in his car for a while, had woken and thought was okay to drive, said Mr Watson.

He regretted his actions and said he would learn from the offence, but clearly at the time he had no thought for the danger he had placed himself and others, added Mr Watson.

In mitigation, Andrea Hetherington said Taylor had made a ‘very, very costly error’ and would lose his job as a brand manager for a motor company.

She said he had pulled himself back together after the breakdown of his marriage 10 years ago and was well respected in his job.

He drove around 1,000 miles per week for work and had just gone back after being on furlough for 18 months. “The main victim in this will be him. There is no doubt that his job has gone,” she said.

Magistrates told Taylor, of Hanover Street, Newcastle, that he had made an ‘absolutely crazy’ decision to drive.

He was given a 12 month community order with five rehabilitation activity requirement days and 15 sessions to address his drinking. He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and was banned from driving for two years.

He was further ordered to pay costs of £85 and a surcharge of £95. Magistrates denied him the opportunity to do a drink driver rehabilitation course, which would have reduced his ban by a quarter