A DRIVER caught with more than three times the legal limit of alcohol in his breath has been banned from driving for more than two years.
As a result, he has blown his chance of a promotion.
On Friday North Devon Magistrates' Court heard how Graeme Bailey, 36, of 13 Pathfield Close, Barnstaple, was caught over the limit in October after having a few drinks with friends while out shopping.
Sean Tipton, for the prosecution, said police were called at around 7.45pm on Friday, October 19, after members of the public saw a drunken Bailey "staggering around a car park before getting into his car and driving off".
Bailey was then spotted by a police officer, who had been monitoring his radio, as he drove up Sticklepath hill in his black Volkswagen Golf.
The officer pulled him over in the forecourt of the Esso garage at the top of the hill, where Bailey blew a breath test reading of 119 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.
In interview Bailey admitted he had driven home drunk because he had an interview for a promotion at work the next day and needed his car to get there, said Mr Tipton.
Bailey claimed to have drunk five pints of Strongbow.
Paul Walters, for the defence, said Bailey, an engineer at Pall Europe in Ilfracombe, was ashamed to be before the court.
He also explained how Bailey had missed out on the promotion, which he had been waiting eight years for.
Bailey currently earns £9.01 an hour but would have been earning an annual salary of £31,000 if promoted.
"This crime has already cost him very dearly for his foolishness," said Mr Walters.
Presiding magistrate Michael Buckley told Bailey: "I think you realise the seriousness of your actions which were extremely stupid and irresponsible."
He sentenced Bailey to a 28 month driving ban, 160 hours of unpaid work and ordered him to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £60.