Banned for 17 months

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A DRIVER whose back-seat passenger had his legs dangling out of the car window as it was being driven along was found to be more than twice the legal booze limit.

Karl Daniel Ryan was driving his blue-coloured Renault Laguna along Oxford Road, in Hartlepool, when police spotted a pair of legs hanging out of an open rear window.

Officers stopped the 24-year-old driver, who has never been in trouble with the police before, in Shrewsberry Street, to speak to him about the unsafe position his passenger was in when they noticed the smell of alcohol on his breath.

Prosecuting, Lilian Atkinson, told Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court: “Officers could see the rear seat passenger had both legs out of the open window so they stopped him.

“The defendant was spoken to, but he smelled of intoxicants and provided a positive road-side breath test.”

He was taken to the police station for further tests which showed he had 85 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Full-time worker Ryan, of Dorset Street, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to drink driving on Saturday, April 30.

Mitigating, Stuart Haywood said: “This is very unfortunate because here you have a man with no previous convictions who loses his good character and appears before the court for the very first time.

“In respect of the offence, you’ve heard that the only reason for the police stopping him is because of the back seat passenger whose legs were stupidly sticking out of the rear window.

“The officer was simply going to serve a warning to Mr Ryan to control his passenger, but unfortunately on stopping him the officer realised his breath smelled of alcohol and he was found to be over the limit.

“Mr Ryan had been drinking some time prior to him being stopped and it’s one of those cases where somebody believes they are perfectly fit to drive.”

Ryan looked visibly emotional as he was banned from driving for 17 months, fined him £250, ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Mr Haywood added: “He’s a very caring, considerate, and hard-working young man who has recently secured full-time permanent employment following a temporary term. It shows how highly he is regarded at work.”