A motorist found slumped drunkenly over the steering wheel of his car narrowly escaped a driving ban.

A district judge at Carlisle's Rickergate Magistrates' Court heard that Yordan Donchev - a man of previous good character - had no intention of driving.

He had simply turned on the engine of his Mini Cooper car so he could wind down the window.

In court, Donchev, 37, of Borland Avenue, Botcherby, admitted being in charge of a motor vehicle while above the legal alcohol limit for driving.

Pam Ward, prosecuting, outlined how in the early hours of March 11 police got a tip-off that a man had been seen slumped over the steering wheel of his car in Borland Avenue.

Officers found the defendant sitting in the car's driver's seat, with the engine running, said the prosecutor.

"They could smell intoxicants when the opened the car door," she said.

"The defendant was the sole occupant and provided a positive roadside breath test."

The reading from that test confirmed that Donchev had 86mcg of alcohol in 100mls of breath.

The legal limit is 35mcg.

Sean Harkin, for the defendant, said: "This defendant has absolutely no previous convictions. He is a man of good character who was cooperative with the officers, both at the roadside and at the police station.

"There was absolutely no prospect of him driving that vehicle.

"He simply turned on the ignition so he could wind down the car's window and have a cigarette.

"He did not realise he was committing an offence. He is sorry for his actions."

A tyre fitter by trade, who was supported in court by his employer, Donchev used his driving skills at work and a ban would make life more difficult for him at work.

Mr Harkin suggested that a suitable punishment would be to impose 10 points on his licence.

District Judge Gerald Chalk fined Donchev £175, with £85 costs.

He told the defendant: "I will not disqualify you from driving.

"I am placing 10 penalty points on your licence. If you accumulate 12 points in any three year period the law says that you must be disqualified for a minimum of three months. For example, a speeding offence carries three points.

"So please be cautious from here on in."