Driver nabbed just over drink limit

A MAN was found to be narrowly over the legal drink drive limit when he was stopped by police driving down the wrong side of the road without any lights on.

Kevin Anthony Chapman was driving a Mercedes car in Brenda Road, Hartlepool, around 4.25am when officers spotted him and signalled for him to pull over.

The officers could smell alcohol on the 32-year-old’s breath and tests showed he was just over the legal limit, with 40 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Prosecuting, Joanne Hesse told Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court: “Police were travelling along Oxford Road when they saw a vehicle approaching them with no lights on travelling down the wrong side of the road.

“He then parked up at the side of the road in the bus lane. Officers got out and spoke to the defendant and they could smell alcohol on his breath.

“He was arrested and breath tests were carried out.”

Unemployed Chapman, of Harwich Grove, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to drink driving on February 18.

His solicitor Barry Gray said Chapman does not accept the claims about his driving and he was not showing any symptoms of being under the influence of anything.

Mr Gray added: “It came as a considerable surprise to him because he’d only had one-and-a-half glasses of wine and that was with a meal and he did not believe he was over the limit and that’s why he drove.

“It’s a lesson to all those that think drinking a small amount of alcohol is no danger to them. The human system is heavily complicated and alcohol goes through different people in different ways, if I may put it like that.

“It’s affected my client and left him over the limit. If you drink anything, you are at risk.”

Chairman of the magistrates’ bench Peter West banned Chapman from driving for 12 months, fined him £100, ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge,

He said: “We understand that this was a borderline test and we’ve taken that into consideration.”