A FORMER Royal Navy aircraft engineer was almost three times the limit when he got into a car and drove it “erratically” on a busy dual carriageway.
Oliver Blue McAleavey, who was recently made redundant from the Armed Forces after five years service, was spotted by police behind the wheel of a Seat car clipping the kerbs of the A689 Marina Way, in Hartlepool, in the early hours.
The 21-year-old was pulled over by police who could smell alcohol on his breath and he was arrested when a breath test revealed that he was almost three times the legal drink drive limit.
Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard that McAleavey, who had never been in trouble with the law before, had 99 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.
Prosecuting, Lynne Roberts-Plowman said: “Prior to being stopped in Marina Way, the car could be seen hitting kerbs and being driven erratically.
“Police stopped the car and spoke to the driver and could smell alcohol on his breath. He tested positive for drink driving.”
McAleavey, of Newhaven Court, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to drink driving on August 8.
Mitigating, Martin Scarborough said McAleavey, who is currently unemployed but due to start a training course with Nissan next month, had been in Hartlepool town centre prior to committing this offence.
He said an “unknown and aggressive” man had latched on to McAleavey asking him for cigarette papers.
“My client didn’t know how to deal with this so he decided to go back to his house and the man followed him,” said Mr Scarborough.
“He knows he shouldn’t have done it, but to placate the man he foolishly got into the car to drive to Asda looking for cigarette papers for him. It was then that he was stopped.”
He added: “He’s a young man who from the age of 16 was in the Navy as an aircraft engineer.
“Sadly he was made redundant, an issue for many across the country and the Armed Forces are no different.
“It’s fair to say that he’s found that very difficult to deal with and as many people do in life when they have problems or troubles, they sometimes do things they shouldn’t.
“He wants to work, he has a strong work ethic and he’s managed to secure six or seven weeks’ training course at Nissan.
“However, he accepts he’s been drinking more than he should have been over the past few months and this has been very much a wake-up call.
“He’s lucky that he’s only facing an excess alcohol charge because he would have been a risk to other people on the road.
“He hasn’t touched alcohol since this offence.”
Chairman of the magistrates’ bench Barbara Sutherland banned him from driving for two years and sentenced him to a 12-month community order with 120 hours unpaid work.