Retiree spotted driving erratically had been drinking


A PENSIONER who had gone through a “difficult time” was arrested by police when he was almost three times the limit for drinking and driving.

Stephen Joule, 67, was seen driving erratically by police on the A44 between Rhayader and Llangurig on the evening of November 15 this year in his Suzuki Grand Vitara.

Joule was arrested and failed a roadside breathalyzer test, a subsequent test revealing that there were 57 micrograms of alcohol in 100 milliliters of his breath, exceeding the prescribed limit of 35 mcg.

He admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol when he appeared before Llandrindod Wells Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, December 8.

Prosecutor Stephen Davies said it was 7 p.m. when PC Underwood decided to stop the silver Suzuki after following it for a while.

“The vehicle was seen moving from the center of the road to the edge, slowing down and then accelerating, actions were not necessary,” Davies said.

“The driver was going a lot slower than he needed to. The officer motioned for him to stop; he then walked up the sidewalk and the shoulder. The driver smelled of intoxicants and alcohol and his eyes appeared glassy. A road check was positive.

Mr Davies said Joule was convicted of drunk driving in January 2017.

Acting for Joule, from Corsica, Gloucestershire, Gareth Walters said: “The day he spent the night in a hotel in the area and it was a road he had never taken before which is why he was driving slowly .

“It’s not the best road and officers admitted work was being done on it at the time, but his driving was the reason he was pulled over.

“It had been a difficult time for him, he had lost several friends in the weeks leading up to the car trip, while he was also awaiting a biopsy. It was a bad day at a bad time, but he fully accepts that he shouldn’t have been driving.

“He had been drinking at lunchtime, he thought he could drive, he clearly wasn’t.”

Ingrid Gallagher, chair of the bench, told Joule: “This is the second time in 10 years that you have been caught in the act of drunk driving, so our guidelines are pretty clear.”

They banned Joule for three years and also fined him £ 175 and ordered him to pay £ 85 in costs and a surcharge of £ 34.


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