A DRINK driver caught after he was involved in a crash on a major Carlisle road had not slept property for five years, a court heard.

Magistrates were told that 50-year-old Michael Vear, who was prosecuted for a similar offence in 2009, had now faced up to his problems with depression and was determined to maintain his sobriety.

At the city’s Rickergate court, the defendant, of Blencowe Street, Denton Holme, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

Pam Ward, prosecuting, said police were called to the scene of an accident on Newtown Road in Carlisle at 10.30pm on June 4.

“One male was lying on the floor next to one vehicle and a second male was up the road,” said the prosecutor. “A crowd was standing next to one vehicle, surrounding the man on the ground and a woman pointed out the other male. She gestured to suggest he might have been drinking.”

Vear admitted straight away to the police officers that he had been drinking. He had been on his way in his car to buy another bottle of wine, he said.

Police noticed that the defendant was 'wobbly' when he walked and he also smelled of alcohol. A breath test later confirmed that he had 117mcg of alcohol in 100mls of breath.

The limit for driving is 35mcg.

Anthony Wilson, defending, said Vear was apologetic for his offence. Employed in the motor trade, Vear was so well respected at his workplace that he would be kept on by his employer.

“He will rely on friends and family,” said Mr Wilson. “He has realised he has a drinking problem.”

Suffering from depression, Vear had been to seen his GP and was now prescribed medication.

A probation officer who interviewed Vear said the defendant had battled with an alcohol problem for some time and this was made worse by the breakup of his relationship with his ex-partner.

But the prosecution had been a catalyst, prompting him to get the help he needs, she said. The officer added: “There were difficulties: he hadn’t slept for five years but he now sleeps very well. He wants to maintain his sobriety.”

She concluded that, given the steps already taken by the defendant, there was no need for rehabilitation.

“He understands the consequences of drink driving,” she added.

Magistrates imposed an £800 fine, with costs of £85 and an £80 victim surcharge.

They banned Vear for 28 months but offered him the drink driver rehabilitation course, which will cut his ban by 28 weeks if completed in time.

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