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Barnstaple drink-driver banned after picking up friend

By NDJPeter  |  Posted: April 05, 2014

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A DRINK-driver has appeared in court after he was caught driving a friend home while over the legal limit.

Thomas Sandland, 26, of Hele Lane, Barnstaple, pleaded guilty to one count of drink-driving when he appeared at North Devon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Although no reasons were given, the court was told that police officers had begun to follow Sandland’s car shortly after 4am on March 8.

Lyndsey Baker, for the prosecution, told the court that after following him for some distance, officers decided to pull Sandland over.

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She said: “The defendant stepped out and spoke to the officer. He admitted that he had just picked a friend up from the town.

“He stated that he consumed one pint of alcohol prior to driving.”

Sandland’s breath test revealed he had 50 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Speaking to the magistrates Sandland, who had no legal representation, said: “I honestly thought I would be all right.

“I didn’t have the intention of getting hammered and driving.

“I felt fine but what can I say - I have learned my lesson haven’t I?

“Just before it all happened I lost my job as well. With this happening it’s going to hinder my job hunt quite a bit.”

Sandland was disqualified from driving for 14 months. He was also fined £110 and ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim’s surcharge of £20.

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