A MAN who was caught by police driving in Buckland St Mary while more than two and a half times over the drink drive limit has been given a 23 month driving ban by magistrates.

William Rupert Bacchus had split from his partner and spent the night drinking at a friend’s house.

However, when he couldn’t sleep he got back into his car and drove to her address and was then spotted by the police shortly before 4am.

He failed to pull over when they indicated for him to stop, but then drove on until he reached the village hall and came to a halt in the car park where he failed a breath test.

Bacchus, 51, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to driving a Landrover Discovery in Buckland St Mary on February 15 after consuming excess alcohol when he appeared before Somerset Magistrates at Yeovil.

Emma Lenanton, prosecuting, said that the police were on duty shortly before 4am when they approached an address in Buckland St Mary and saw the rear lights of a vehicle which were switched on.

They continued past the address and then saw the vehicle come out of the driveway so they got out and indicated for the Landrover Discovery vehicle to stop.

“However the defendant drove the car onto a grass verge and went past the police vehicle so they followed it and then illuminated their blue lights for it to stop,” she said.

“It continued 100 metres down the road and went into the car park of the village hall and Bacchus got out.”

A roadside breath test was positive and after being taken to the police station a further test produced a reading of 90mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg of alcohol.

Defending solicitor Chris Baddoo said that Bacchus worked as a self employed landscape gardener and had lived with his partner in Buckland St Mary but they had recently separated.

“On that night he went to her address after drinking at a friend’s house, and because he couldn’t sleep he then went back to her house again,” he said.

“The police saw him and he didn’t stop immediately as he went to park up in the safest place which was in the village hall car park.”

Probation officer Joe Harper said that Bacchus had argued with his partner earlier in the evening and then returned in the early hours after drinking at his friend’s house.

“He drove back to her house but she did not want him there and threatened to call the police, which she did, and they saw the defendant as he was reversing out of the drive,” he said.

“He felt he was ok to drive but knew he was taking medication at the time and has also drunk alcohol for his mental health.”

He said that Bacchus was also suffering from arthritis and was now looking to seek alternative employment as he expected his business to fold following the loss of his licence.

He added that the defendant suffered from bipolar, anxiety and acute stress and had shown a great deal of remorse and regret about the offence.

The magistrates banned Bacchus from driving for 23 months and also fined him £120 with £40 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.