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Terrington St Clement drink-driver, 70, had been to 18th birthday party, court told

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A 70-year-old man has admitted drinking heavily at a pub with the intention of driving the eight miles home.

George Garner drank beer continuously at the 18th birthday party in Long Sutton before heading back to Wesley Road, Terrington St Clement, a court heard.

Police, who had been tipped off that a Skoda Superb had hit traffic cones at Sutton Bridge, arrested him on his driveway after he failed a breath test.

King's Lynn Magistrates Court (57243319)
King's Lynn Magistrates Court (57243319)

Before magistrates in Lynn on Thursday, Garner pleaded guilty to drink-driving – his second conviction for the offence. The other was in 2010, which was outside the ten-year period for triggering a minimum three-year ban.

Prosecutor Hannah Butler said a member of the public witnessed the collision and called police while following Garner’s vehicle. When it crossed the county border, information was passed to Norfolk police.

“He was found next to the driver’s side in the process of locking the car. He admitted to having driven and being drunk,” said Miss Butler.

A roadside reading of 74 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath had risen to 88 by the time of the evidential test in custody. The legal limit is 35.

In interview, Garner told police he drank continuously and could not estimate how many pints.

“He’d driven to the pub with the intention of drinking and said he felt totally fine to drive. His wife was at bingo and he didn’t consider asking anybody else or paying for a taxi,” Miss Butler added.

“As for collision with the traffic cones, he didn’t recall this happening. He said he most likely swerved as he was lighting a cigarette. He questioned the reliability of the witness.”

In mitigation, solicitor Andrew Cogan said Garner would not be reapplying for a driving licence when the ban was complete.

“He has no intention of driving again. His day is done,” he added. “He felt fine to drive but clearly accepts that he wasn’t anything other than over the limit.”

Garner, who was disqualified for 22 months, did not elect to undertake the drink-driver rehabilitation course.

He was fined £120 and ordered to pay £84 in costs and victim surcharge.

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