A DRUNK Carlisle motorist was found slumped over the steering wheel of his stationary car with an empty whisky bottle beside him.

At Carlisle’s Rickergate court, 42-year-old Marian Hanes pleaded guilty to a single allegation of drink driving, having committed the offence on March 17.

But what happened that morning was "not like him," his lawyer told magistrates.

At the city's Rickergate court, prosecutor Peter Kelly outlined the facts.

Police who were on duty at 4am in the Shaddongate area of Carlisle were alerted to the defendant’s Kia Sportage car by a concerned taxi driver, who had seen the defendant slumped over his steering wheel.

The police officer who went to the car to investigate found Hanes as described, said Mr Kelly. “While he was initially unresponsive he eventually sat up and appeared disorientated and confused,” said the prosecutor.

When police arrived, the car's engine was running.

When the driver side door was opened, the officer noticed a strong smell of alcohol and then she saw the car beginning to roll forward. “The defendant then put the engine into reverse and drove backwards and forwards several times,” said Mr Kelly.

“The police tried to stop him from doing that.”

When the car did stop, the officers at the scene looked inside and noticed an empty 220mls whisky bottle. A test later confirmed that Hanes had 89mcg of alcohol in every 100mls of breath. The legal limit for driving is 35mcg.

“It’s not like him,” said John Smith, defending. “He has no previous convictions, and he is currently working in Penrith."

After hearing the details, magistrates gave Hanes fines and associated costs totalling £730.

They also imposed a 22-month driving ban, though Hanes, of Kirriemuir Way, Etterby, Carlisle, was offered a drink driver rehabilitation course. If completed by June 30 next year, this will reduce the ban by 22 weeks.

As the case concluded, Hanes said: "I know that I'm guilty and I am very sorry. It was the first time - and the last time."