Drink-driver banned from roads after turning up for work in Carlisle four times over limit

28/06/22. Mark Smith, 48, of Union Road, Gretna, who appeared at Carlisle's magistrates court today. Craig McGlasson.
Mark Smith, 48, of Union Road, Gretna.

A drink-driver who was more than than four times the legal alcohol limit after turning up for work at a Carlisle factory has been sentenced and banned from the road.

Mark Smith, 48, came to the attention of police at around 8-50pm on May 6 this year. Two officers were on duty in a marked patrol vehicle close to Brunel Way, Durranhill, and became aware of an ongoing incident at a nearby place of work.

Pam Ward, prosecuting, told Carlisle’s magistrates’ court. “Staff at a nearby factory had caught a member of staff being drunk whilst at work.”

Smith, of Union Road, Gretna, was put through the business’s own internal alcohol testing procedure and gave a positive sample. Staff had seen him driving his vehicle, which CCTV showed him parking up before walking to the factory front entrance. He failed a police breath test and the lower of two later evidential readings showed 141 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The limit is 35mcg.

Smith, a man of previous good character, admitted drink-driving and was sentenced on Tuesday.

Unrepresented by a lawyer, he told the court: “I am not a drinker, not really. I live on my own. I lost my younger brother and I am getting divorced from my wife. My wife has moved to Carlisle. I don’t really get to see my son. The only time I will take a drink is when I get down, if you know what I mean?”

Smith added of the looming punishment: “I will just take it on the chin.”

Magistrates imposed a 12-month community order comprising 200 hours’ unpaid work. Smith was ordered to pay £85 costs and a £95 victim surcharge, and banned from driving for 30 months. He accepted the offer of a rehabilitation course which, if completed, would see his ban reduced by 30 weeks.

Lead magistrate Mark Travers said it had been a “really serious offence”.