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Grieving widower caught drink-driving told court: 'My life will be shattered'

Michael Eastwood was more than twice the limit when police pulled him over in Honley

Huddersfield Road, Honley.

A drunk man caught behind the wheel by police told them: “I’ve been drinking all day.”

Michael Eastwood was more than twice the legal limit when the officers pulled him over in Honley on June 3.

He explained that he started drinking heavily following the death of his wife of 39 years.

The 65-year-old added that the loss of his licence would be devastating due to his remote village home.

Police stopped him on Huddersfield Road on June 3 after a witness saw him buying alcohol from a petrol station before driving off.

He was driving very slowly and appeared to have difficulty moving in a straight line, Kirklees Magistrates’ Court heard.

Prosecutor Jill Seddon said he appeared drunk when the officers spoke with them and told them: “I’ve been drinking all day.”

Police station breath tests showed that he had 74 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

This was more than twice the legal limit of 35 microgrammes.

Huddersfield Police Station, Albion Street, Huddersfield.

Eastwood, of Southgate Fold in Honley, then claimed that he’d drunk after driving but the police report didn’t support that, Mrs Seddon added.

He told the Huddersfield court that his wife died earlier this year and he then started to drink quite heavily.

Eastwood explained that he then suffered a stroke which affected his walking ability and speech.

He said: “I know that I committed a serious offence and I accept there’s a heavy penalty.

“My life would be shattered without a vehicle as I live alone in a remote village and find it difficult to move around without a car.

“I know I’m going to lose my car, it’s just the period for which I lose it.”

The Huddersfield court was told that Eastwood’s wife died in January despite his best efforts to save her by performing CPR.

He hasn’t had any bereavement counselling and may need help with this.

His sentencing was also adjourned until September 25 to allow him to be assessed for possible alcohol treatment.

He was banned from driving in the interim.

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