A BUILDER was close to twice the drink drive limit - and it's not the first time he has been caught.

Andrew Densley was also more than three hours late for his hearing at Worcester Magistrates Court, offering his apologies for what he called 'a mix-up'.

He was supposed to turn up for the hearing before his slot at 11am on Thursday, turning up at 2.30pm instead.

The 33-year-old of Thames Close, Ronkswood, Worcester, told magistrates 'it was a complete mix-up', saying he believed the hearing was at 3pm and had turned up what, in his mind, was half an hour early.

Magistrates accepted his explanation and withdrew the warrant for his arrest which had been issued that morning.

"I'm very sorry. I had it in my head it was 3pm" he told the court. He admitted driving with excess alcohol on December 12 last year after officers pulled over a Citroen C4 in Shrub Hill.

He failed a roadside breath test and an evidential specimen of breath taken at the police station revealed 65mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, close to twice the legal limit of 35mcg.

He also admitted driving without insurance although he added: "I thought I was insured."

Densley said he was driving his girlfriend's car and believed his fully comprehensive insurance permitted him to drive any car.

Liz Blacklock, prosecuting, said: "Police attention was drawn to the vehicle because it had a defective front headlight."

The defendant was described as being fully co-operative with police at the roadside.

He has previous drink driving and no insurance convictions from December 2006 and a drunk in charge of a motor vehicle from 2012.

Densley, who represented himself, told magistrates: "I had a couple of drinks at home. I had food. I felt perfectly fine myself and didn't think for a minute I would be over the limit."

He explained that he had been in the process of picking his girlfriend up from St John's and, on the way back, he was pulled over.

Densley told magistrates he ran his own building company employing a couple of people and that a driving ban would 'affect them and my work a great deal'.

Magistrates explained they had no option but to disqualify him.

"It will be a lot harder to run things" he said. He added: "Nothing like this will happen again."

Magistrates banned him from driving for 17 months. However, they did offer him the drink driver's rehabilitation course which Densley must pay for himself. If the course is completed to the required standard, the disqualification will be reduced by 17 weeks.

For driving with excess alcohol, the bench fined him £700, ordered him to pay costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £70. They imposed no separate penalty for driving without insurance but his licence will be endorsed with details of the offence. A fines collection order was made which gives the court extra powers to recover the debt.