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Sunday, 23 November 2014

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Jail for Carlisle decorator nearly five times drink-drive limit

A self-employed painter and decorator has been jailed for being nearly five times the legal drink-drive limit.

Michael McDermott, from Carlisle, is serving an 18-week sentence after appearing before city magistrates to plead guilty to the charge.

Breath test readings from McDermott, 48, of Beaumont Road, Currock, were believed to be among the highest levels recorded by a police machine in Cumbria.

North Cumbria Magistrates’ Court was told how McDermott had just left the Spar shop on Petteril Bank Road, Harraby, on August 22 about 11am when police were informed he had left the store in a “drunken state” and was unsteady. He then got into a Fiat Scudo van and drove off but was stopped within minutes by officers, who reported that he smelt strongly of alcohol.

McDermott failed a roadside breath-test and was arrested and taken to Durranhill police station.

There he was tested on a breathalyser unit.

The lowest reading recording that he had 157 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

The legal limit is 35mg.

Defence lawyer Laura Harper told the magistrates that the incident was a “wake up” call for McDermott, who had suffered health issues for years.

She added that losing his driving licence would have “real consequences on his business and his life”.

Magistrates read a probation service report and a letter from McDermott’s GP before passing sentence.

Presiding magistrate David Taylor said: “You were a real risk to members of the public, amazingly no-one was hurt.”

McDermott was banned from driving for 36 months but has been offered the chance to reduce this by 36 weeks upon successful completion of a drink-drivers rehabilitation course.

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