A MAN drove while drunk to get his works van away from thieves.
Howard Hanks was banned from driving after Huddersfield magistrates heard how he got behind the wheel after drinking at a pub.
He had explained that he had no intention of getting in the vehicle, containing his work tools, but decided to drive it to safety after hearing about local criminal activity in the area.
Linda Fowler, prosecuting, said that a police officer spotted Hanks driving his Citroen Berlingo on East Street, Lindley, in the evening of October 21.
Ms Fowler said: “He saw that the Citroen was weaving from side to side and moving extremely wide across the road to avoid parked cars.
“Mr Hanks was pulled over and his breath smelled of alcohol and his speech was slurred.”
Hanks, of Halifax Road in Birchencliffe, had his breath tested at the roadside.
He was found to have 85 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.
The legal drink-drive limit is 35mg.
Magistrates were told that the 28-year-old had no previous convictions and a clean driving licence.
However, on the evening of the offence he had been drinking nearby at the Black Bull pub.
Hanks’ solicitor said that he was not planning to drive but had become aware that he may need to move his van because of some ‘local activity’ that may have put his tools at risk.
Magistrates were told that there had been a number of crimes of this type in the area.
Hanks then got into his car and drove it a few hundreds of yards down the road to a safer location to park it.
He had already pulled the car over when police approached him.
Magistrates were told that the impact of being banned from driving would be ‘substantial’ on Hanks.
They were told that he had his own business and that he would have to stop trading until he got his licence back.
But magistrates banned him from driving for 18 months, which will be reduced if he takes a drink driving rehabilitation course.
Hanks was also ordered to pay a £300 fine, £15 victim surcharge and £85 costs.