A MOTORIST seen driving away from his home in Wetheral was later found to be twice the drink drive limit.

Michael Barker, 22, who initially claimed in court that he consumed the alcohol after he had parked his car, admitted the offence during at brief hearing at Carlisle's Rickergate Magistrates' Court.

Prosecutor Pamela Fee said witnesses saw the defendant driving his black Ford Fiesta from his home in Skelton Court, Wetheral, shortly before 7pm on August 27.

CCTV images showed him stopping near Wetheral Abbey Farm and then walking off with a dog.

A breath test later showed he had an alcohol reading of 85mcg per 100mls of breath. The legal limit for driving is 35mcg.

"I felt fine to drive," the defendant told magistrates.

He said there had been an argument. His last offence was one of being drunk and disorderly in a public place, the court was told. Barker told the court that a driving ban would affect him and his partner, who uses a wheelchair, massively. He was fined £120, with a £32 victim surcharge, and £85 costs.

He was banned from driving for 21 months.

Magistrates offered him the drink-drivers' rehabilitation course, which if completed in time will reduce his ban by 21 weeks.