A PRISON officer faces losing his job after getting behind the wheel while almost three times over the limit.
Luke Catling said he was stressed about returning to his pressurised and volatile job after taking long term sick leave.
He was caught driving his BMW the wrong way down a one-way street in Huddersfield town centre and appeared drunk when police pulled him over.
The 29-year-old pleaded guilty to driving whilst over the prescribed limit when he appeared at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court.
His vehicle caught the attention of police in duty in the town shortly after 2am on September 18.
Prosecutor Alex Bozman told magistrates: “They received a report of a driver being over the limit.
“They saw the vehicle drive from Market Place onto Kirkgate and followed it onto Cross Church Street.
“The driver went the wrong way down a one-way street.
“They stopped the driver and spoke with him and he showed signs of being in drink.”
Breath tests showed that Catling, of Duffy Court in Lindley, had 98 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.
This was almost three times the legal limit of 35 microgrammes.
Magistrates were told that Catling had no previous convictions.
Abdul Ali, mitigating, said that his conviction for drink-driving had great personal implications for his client.
He told magistrates: “The whole episode has had a great effect on him and his ability to continue with his employment.
“He has worked as a prison officer since 2008 and his suitability for that role will be up for review.”
Magistrates were told that Catling was on a long period of absence from work and was due to return to his job when he committed the offence.
Mr Ali said: “It’s a very volatile environment in which he works and it’s difficult for him to cope with the fact that there are more prisoners and less prison officers.
“There has been a long-standing affect on his mental well-being although he doesn’t wish to put that forward as an excuse.
“On this day his leave was coming to an end and he decided to socialise but his mind was on work and the dread of going back.
“It’s no justification and he fully understands the implications of this offence and the dangers of drink-driving.
“He’s a prison officer who has been stopped for drink-driving that’s not something that he wants to be known.”
Magistrates banned Catling from driving for 23 months.
He was find £704 and ordered to pay £74 victim surcharge.