Driver, 42, was more than three times the limit

Getting behind the wheel of a car while more than three times the limit has led to a lengthy ban for one 42-year-old.

Police on patrol on the evening of Sunday November 25 were travelling on the Ersham Road in Hailsham heading towards Stone Cross when they spotted a vehicle travelling slowly, with the wheels going on the verge.

Eastbourne magistrates heard they stopped the Mercedes and spoke to the driver Daniel Townsend, who was unsteady on his feet and had slurred speech.

The defendant, of Bowley Road, Hailsham, failed a roadside breath test and a later reading in custody showed he had 114mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

The legal limit is 35mcg.

At a hearing at Eastbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday this week Townsend pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

The case was adjourned for a verbal report from probation which was read out to magistrates later that morning.

It explained Townsend had not intended to drink alcohol on the day of the offence but when he arrived at a pub he was met by a group of friends and ended up having six pints of lager.

The probation officer added, “His decision was influenced by peer pressure.

“He had money in his possession to get a taxi but decided to go in the car.

“He is remorseful for his actions and recognises the danger he put everyone in.

“He said his alcohol use has reduced somewhat.”

They added Townsend, who was due to begin a job soon, was on anti-depressants.

Christos Christou, defending, said his client had gone to the pub and ‘one thing had led to another’.

He added, “I ask you to give him credit for his early guilty plea.

“He fully admitted the offence to police.

“When he left [the pub] his vehicle was parked there.

“He accepts he shouldn’t have driven, he was simply driving home.

“He wasn’t involved in any accident at all.

“He doesn’t need his car at the moment but when he gets work it will be of assistance.

“If you sentence him to a curfew this means he could stay in, you may be inclined to give him unpaid work.

“He has cut down his alcohol use and is not someone that has a drink problem.”

Eastbourne magistrates banned Townsend from the road for 28 months.

He was told this could be reduced by six months if he completes a drink driver rehabilitation course within a set period of time.

He was told he would be on an electronically tagged curfew for 28 days where he must remain indoors between the hours of 8pm and 6am.

Townsend was also given a 12 month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work.

He must also pay £50 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.