Drink-driver used vodka to “numb pain” of arthritis

Date: Friday 22nd December 2017

A MAN was caught drink-driving after turning to vodka to “numb the pain” of arthritis.

Stephen Moore (55), Crown Square, Penrith, was nearly three times the legal alcohol limit when he was caught driving a blue Nissan Qashqai at Plumpton on Saturday, 18th November.

He pleaded guilty to the offence when he appeared at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Mrs. Pam Ward, prosecuting, told the court that a witness who had been following Moore’s Quashqai on the A6 from Penrith to Plumpton became concerned as the vehicle was “swerving around the road”.

Police were alerted and found Moore’s car in a lay-by at Plumpton. He failed a roadside breath test and was arrested. Further tests found he had 102mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath — the legal limit is 35mcg.

Moore told officers he had gone to help a friend whose vehicle had broken down. He set off from his home at 8pm, but admitted having drunk cider and vodka earlier that day.

Mr. Steven Marsh, defending, said Moore had no previous convictions and had been driving for 30 years.

He relied on his licence to get to work in Armathwaite and also to transport his wife, who is disabled. Moore suffered from Crohn’s disease and arthritis, so rarely drank.

On the day of the offence he was not working, but was in so much pain that he decided to have some vodka to “numb the pain”.

He drank at lunchtime and had no plans to drive that day. However, he got a call for help from friends who had broken down and was at Plumpton helping them when he was caught by police.

The magistrates disqualified him from driving for 24 months, fined him £620 and ordered him to pay a £62 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.