A DRIVER who was double the drink drive limit has been given a driving ban by magistrates.

Luke Smith, of The Nookery, Baughton, near Upton-upon-Severn, pleaded guilty to getting behind the wheel while over the drink drive limit when he appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court on Thursday, May 18.

Kriss Ewing, prosecuting, said the 22-year-old came to the attention of police in the early hours of April 29.

Officers were buying petrol when they were told by a person behind the counter that a BMW had pulled onto the forecourt, then driven off after spotting police.

Ms Ewing said police were suspicious so followed the vehicle to the Texaco garage in Tolladine Road, where they spoke to the man suspecting he had drunk alcohol.

Mr Ewing said Smith took a roadside breath test which he failed, so he was taken to the police station where he failed a test that showed he had 73mcg of alcohol in 110ml of breath - the legal limit being 35mcg.

Smith, who represented himself, was asked if he had anything to say, to which he replied: "It was just a stupid mistake."

Smith, who had no previous convictions, added he had no idea why he had drunk the alcohol and then drove the vehicle.

In sentencing, chairman of the magistrates bench Keith Stoke-Smith told Smith there was no logical reason to have done what he did, and he put the life of a passenger and members of the public at risk by drink driving.

Smith was disqualified from driving for 17 months, which will be reduced by 17 weeks if he completes a drink drive awareness course, which was offered.

He was also fined £500, ordered to pay court costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £50 - a total of £685.