Poorly man caught drink-driving after he turned to booze

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A sleepless man who has been driven to alcohol by a pro-longed illness has been caught drink-driving in the middle of the night.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Tuesday, February 28, how Mathew Watson, 35, of Fairfield Road, Buxton, had been diagnosed with a serious illness in June, last year, and has since been suffering with depression and insomnia and has turned to alcohol.

Defence solicitor Howard Bernstein explained that Watson had been drinking during the day and had managed to sleep from 6pm to 3am before he went out to get cigarettes and was caught by police for drink-driving.

Mr Bernstein said: “He was in the house and he gets depressed and he drinks and insomnia is another aspect of the illness. He drank during the day and slept from 6pm to 3am and he felt fine to drive and he went out to get cigarettes because he thought he was okay but he was stopped and he was over the limit.”

Watson was spotted by police driving a van along Fairfield Road, Buxton, about 3am, on January 15, according to prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop.

Mrs Allsop said Watson pulled into a layby and then he pulled away before he stopped and was found with glazed eyes and smelling of alcohol.

The defendant was more than twice the legal drink-drive limit after he registered 81microgrammes of alcohol in 100millilitres of breath when the legal limit is 35microgrammes.

Watson pleaded guilty to exceeding the alcohol drink-drive limit.

Mr Bernstein added that Watson who has been dependent on savings hopes to apply for benefits before returning to work after treatment.

He added: “He would not have been drinking if it was not for the illness.”

Magistrates fined Watson £140 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

He was also disqualified from driving for 18 months but if he completes a drink-drive rehabilitation course this ban could be reduced by 19 weeks.

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