Drink drive ban for motorist who went to collect house keys out of car but drove home

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A MAN who drove while more than twice the limit has been banned for 17 months.

Darren Rowbotham had been out drinking and left his Renault Scenic in Seaton Carew, but later in the night the 39–year–old realised he had left his keys in the car and “stupidly” decided to drive it home.

Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard that at 12.55am a police officer spotted the vehicle when it pulled out into Tees Road.

Prosecuting, Joanne Hesse said: “The vehicle picked up speed and travelled towards Seaton Carew travelling through a 30mph zone and failed to slow down.

“As he got to The Cliff, the officer indicated for the vehicle to stop.

“The defendant said he had been drinking earlier that evening and was probably still over the limit.”

Rowbotham was found to have 189 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80.

Rowbotham, of Harold Hornsey Square, Hartlepool, admitted drink driving on May 4.

He represented himself in court and told justices: “It was a stupid mistake, and the first time I’ve ever even thought about driving after having a drink.

“I’d actually left my car at Seaton and when I tried to go home later that evening I realised I’d left my keys in the car.

“So I walked back and I thought I was okay to drive, obviously I wasn’t.”

He was also ordered to pay a £400 fine, £85 costs and a £40 victim surcharge.