Grantham court: Drink driver was found slumped at the wheel in A1 layby... after calling the police himself

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A driver who set off in his car to go to Northumberland from Peterborough after drinking in a pub was found by police slumped over the wheel in a layby on the A1.

Michael John Wood, 49, of Pandora Drive, Stanground South, Peterborough, pleaded guilty at Grantham Magistrates’ Court to drink driving on December 12.

Prosecuting, Marie Stace said Wood, a father-of-four, had called police at about 3.15am from the A1 near Stoke Rochford. He told them a tyre had blown out and admitted he had been drinking.

Miss Stace told the court that police found Wood “slumped over the wheel” with the car engine and lights still on. Wood said to the officers: “I’ve been stupid. How much trouble am I in?”

Wood gave a positive breath test which measured 74 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, just over twice the legal limit of 35mcg.

In a police interview, he said he had finished work at noon and went to the pub where he drank pints of beer and Jagerbombs. Miss Stace said Wood could not remember how he got home, but it was there he decided to get into his car and drive to see his sister in Northumberland.

When Wood got to Grantham he came off the A1, drove through the town and went back on to the A1 where his tyre blew. He stopped in a layby and fell asleep. He called the police when he woke up.

Stuart Wild, defending, said Wood had driven to Peterborugh from Huntingdon after work and parked at home. He went to the pub where he was encouraged by work colleagues to drink the Jagerbombs. He then went home and got into his car. Mr Wild said there had been a bereavement in Wood’s family in Northumberland and he had decided to drive there.

Mr Wild added: “A few miles from Grantham he realised what he was doing was stupid and has turned round to travel back southbound and go home. He then found the tyre has blown out. In the phone call to the police he fully admitted he had consumed alcohol.”

Mr Wild said Wood apologised to the police and the court for his behaviour and saw the inevitable driving ban as a punishment on his family as well as himself.

Magistrates banned Wood from driving for 20 months. This will be reduced by 20 weeks if he successfully completes a drink driver rehabilitation course. He was also fined £280 and ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £28.