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Penrith drink driver caught after tossing cider can from car

A MOTORIST was caught drink driving near Penrith after a bystander saw him tossing an empty Strongbow cider can from his car window – moments after it mounted the kerb at a petrol filling station.

John Woof, 43, heard more than twice the drink drive limit when he was seen doing this at the Redhills Service Station, near Penrith, Carlisle’s Rickergate court.

He admitted drink driving.

Prosecutor Pam Ward said Woof came to the attention of the police on the late morning of January 29 when a 999 call was made by a concerned member of the public who suspected the defendant was driving under the influence.

The witness first saw the defendant’s Vauxhall Crossland mount the kerb. “The person reported seeing a can of Strongbow dark fruit cider being thrown from the vehicle,” said Mrs Ward.

The driver then parked across three parking bays.

When police arrived at the scene, they searched the Vauxhall and found a crate of alcohol on the car’s passenger seat.

“The driver had slurred speech and he admitted to not being sober,” added Mrs Ward.

Woof also admitted that he had been drinking and driving.

The defendant cooperated fully with the breath test procedure and he was found to have 80mcg of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit for driving is 35mcg.

Chris Toms, defending, said Woof had made arrangements to meet a friend that day so they could go walking in the Lake District. “He’d brought some alcohol to drink with that person,” said the lawyer.

“But when that person did not show up, he started drinking.”

Although the defendant had a criminal history, there was nothing similar to this offence, said Mr Toms.

Nor had Woof been in any kind of trouble for the last three or four years.

Mr Toms said that the defendant suffered from bipolar disorder and that a recent change to his medication had not worked out. As a result, the defendant had “self-medicated” with alcohol.

Normally, said Mr Toms, Woof didn’t drive and he didn’t have a car. He was waiting to see a medical consultant but that appointment would not happen until April.

In the meantime, he had made contact with an alcohol support group so that he can now get help with his alcohol use.

The defendant, of Urmston, Manchester, was fined £120, with £85 costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

Magistrates imposed a 20 month driving ban and offered the defendant a drink driver rehabilitation course.

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