Drink drive doc in court

A RETIRED doctor has been banned from the roads after being caught drink driving for the third time.

Dr Nial Cummins has been slapped with a ban at the age of 75 after being caught driving away from a pub while over the legal drink-drive limit in his BMW 330D car.

The former GP – who treated thousands of Hartlepool patients over the years working in surgeries at Annandale Crescent, in West View, and Durham Street, on the Headland – was spotted

getting into his car by a taxi driver near the town’s Smallcrafts Club, in Commercial Street.

Officers had been alerted to Cummins after getting the call from the taxi driver who was worried that he was drunk and may drive home.

Prosecuting, Helen Kesterton said officers stopped the doctor driving along Middleton Road and a roadside breath test showed he was over the limit.

A urine test showed he had 131 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine – the legal limit is 107 micrograms.

It was the third time Cummins had been caught drink driving – and had twice before been banned from the road.

She said: “The defendant does have two excess alcohol offences recorded on his licence, one in September 2000 and one in November 2004.”

Cummins, of Elwick Road, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to drink driving on May 3.

Mitigating, Charles Shirtcliffe said: “Dr Cummins is a man of 75 years of age, he’s a little bit deaf and he’s not in the first flush of youth.

“He’s had two previous scrapes and he’s been careful up until now to limit his intake to the measured allowable limit. He knows what it is and he has his two pints watered with lemonade.

“He went down to the Smallcrafts Club at Middleton Harbour, and he didn’t drink the entirety of his two pints which were watered with lemonade. He set off to drive home when he was overtaken by a police car. He parked up and waited for the police to come over to him.

“It’s not what he drank in the club on that occasion, but the fact he had a somewhat similar amount at lunchtime and he had not allowed for the fact that he had not metabolised what he had drunk.

“Sadly if he had taken the dog for a walk, or had a nap in front of the television he may not have been over the limit.”

He added: “It’s unfortunate circumstances. He’s not in the best of health, it’s probable that he will never drive again.”

Chairman of the bench John Taylor banned Cummins from driving for three years, fined him £465, ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.