A CREWKERNE man who was seen staggering to his car holding two bottles of wine and having drunk a litre of cider already that day was stopped by police before he could get into the vehicle.

Members of the public had reported their concerns that Richard Ian Roffey was coming out of a shop in Crewkerne town centre and walking towards a car which had the engine running.

When the police arrived they could see he was unsteady on his feet and he was later found to be more than two and half times over the drink drive limit.

The 54-year-old defendant, of North Street, pleaded guilty to being in charge of a motor vehicle at Crewkerne on February 5 after consuming excess alcohol when he appeared before Somerset Magistrates at Yeovil.

Prosecutor Julyan Stephens said that police officers attended Market Street after receiving reports that the defendant was walking out of a shop towards a car that was turned on.

“He was in possession of two bottles of wine and appeared unsteady on his feet, was making towards the car and they could see he appeared intoxicated,” he said.

“They could not obtain a roadside breath test due to a medical condition and at the police station he provided a sample of blood which resulted in a reading of 212mlg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, the legal limit is 80mlg of alcohol.

“When he was interviewed he said he had an “affinity with alcohol” and was an alcoholic and had drunk a litre of cider that day.”

Defending solicitor Jeffrey Bannister said that Roffey had been ill since 1999 and had not worked since then and had now applied for benefits after previously living off savings.

“This incident has been a real wake-up call for him and he has now engaged with mental health services and has not drunk any alcohol for the last five weeks,” he said.

“He is also working with AA and the Somerset Drugs and Alcohol Service (SDAS) and needs to be able to drive to continue with his recovery and keep his appointments.”

The magistrates allowed Roffey to keep his licence but endorsed it with 10 penalty points.

They also fined him £40 and ordered him to pay £40 towards costs and a £30 victim surcharge.