A grieving son drove drunk days after his father lost his battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Philip Donaghey was more than three times over the legal limit when police caught him driving erratically in Milnsbridge.
His solicitor said that he turned to drink to cope four days after losing his father, who he described as his best friend.
The 46-year-old, banned from driving for more than two years, now cares for his frail mother and described the loss of his driving licence as devastating.
Prosecutor Andy Wills told Kirklees magistrates that the offence happened shortly before 9pm on April 8.
He explained that the attention of police was drawn to his grey Suzuki Swift Sport because he was driving it in excess of the 30mph speed limit.
Mr Wills said: “The officers followed the driver. He seemed to be having difficulty keeping control of the vehicle while negotiating bends.
“He travelled along Dale Street, narrowly missing a vehicle coming in the opposite direction.”
Police pulled Donaghey over and when asked if he’d had a lot to drink he replied that he had.
He was struggling to find the ignition to turn the car off and had difficulty getting out of the car.
Donaghey, of The Riverside in Linthwaite, was arrested and taken to Dewsbury Police Station.
There breath tests showed that he had 112 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.
This was more than three times over the legal limit of 35 microgrammes.
Magistrates heard that Donaghey had a previous conviction for drink driving, dating back to 2003.
He pleaded guilty to driving while over the prescribed limit.
Alexander Menary, mitigating, explained that his client had been close to his father who he viewed as his best friend.
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He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2013 and Donaghey became his full-time carer.
Mr Menary said: “He had the sad task of watching him waste away. He died four days before this offence and he was drinking to dull the pain.
“He lost the plot and has little recollection of that night. He appreciates the danger he placed other road users and the officers in and wishes to apologise through me to the court.”
Mr Menary added that Donaghey now cares for his mother who lives in a remote area of Meltham.
He said: “The loss of this licence will cause him significant hardship. He’ll have to hike there five miles each way.”
Chairwoman Kathryn Beney told Donaghey that while she sympathised with his situation he had a high level of alcohol in his system and narrowly avoided an accident.
He was banned from driving for 27 months and ordered to pay £425 fine plus £85 court costs and £42 victim surcharge.