A CHARD man who was driving his van at “stupid speeds” was found to be nearly double the drink drive limit after police found him clothed just in his boxer shorts.

Jonathan David Margetts was reported to the police by a member of the public who was concerned about the manner of his driving.

The witness followed him until he pulled up outside his home address, but by the time the police arrived they knocked on his door and he came down in his just his boxer shorts but appeared to be drunk.

Margetts, 50, of Ravensmead, pleaded guilty to driving a Ford van on Avishayes Road, Chard, on August 1 after consuming excess alcohol when he appeared before Somerset Magistrates.

The court at Yeovil was told that a female witness was with her partner at the One Stop Shop in Chard at 9.40pm when she called the police.

“She was concerned about the driver of a Ford Transit and noticed the male in the shop who she said was stumbling all over the place and she had the feeling he was drunk,” said prosecutor Emma Lenanton.

“He got into the driver’s seat of a van, and when it drove off she followed it and said it was driving at stupid speeds and was struggling to keep up with it.

“She then saw it stop on a driveway, and just before the lights were turned off it rolled backwards before then stopping.

"A female got out of the passenger seat and the male driver could be seen slumped over the driver’s seat onto the passenger seat.”

Officers arrived at 9.50pm and saw the vehicle with the lights still on and when they activated their body worn camera they knocked on the door and a female answered.

She said the driver was Margetts and he was then located upstairs and was only wearing boxer shorts and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol.

His speech was slurred and he smelt of alcohol so he was arrested and when he took a breath test produced a reading of 67mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg of alcohol..

Defending solicitor Greg Peters said that Margetts was honest with the police when he confessed he had been the person driving the van even though he had absolutely no recollection of it at all.

“He finds that incredibly worrying and is very sorry for what happened, but on that night he went to the Windwhistle Golf Club and was drinking lager,” he said.

“He says he must have driven the van back from the club but said that putting somebody else in danger is not something he would ordinarily do.

“A disqualification will have a profound effect on him as he is a self-employed builder and will now lose his employment as he cannot drive to jobs.

“He is incredibly sorry and anxious about the future, however he does not seek to challenge the evidence and holds his hands up.”

The magistrates imposed a 19 month driving ban on the defendant and fined him £392 with £85 costs and a £39 victim surcharge.