TOO much red wine over dinner with his in-laws led to a Chard man losing his licence when he was caught drink driving.

Helder Goncalves Ferreira was spotted by police driving along Furnham Road, and when he got out of the car he was unsteady on his feet and stunk of booze.

After failing a roadside breath test he was arrested and was later found to be more than double the drink drive limit.

When he appeared in the dock before Somerset Magistrates they were told that the trained mechanic would now face difficulties in getting around as his partner was unable to drive.

Ferreira, 49, of Coker Way, pleaded guilty to driving a Peugeot vehicle in Chard on March 15 after consuming excess alcohol.

Prosecutor Julyan Stephens said the defendant was driving home at 11.30pm when he was pulled over by the police in Furnham Road.

“He appeared unsteady on his feet when he got out of the car and there was a strong smell of alcohol,” he said.

A roadside breath test produced a positive result and after being arrested a further test resulted in a reading of 79mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg of alcohol.

Sam Morton, defending, said his client had gone to his in-laws for dinner outside Chard and during the evening he drank some red wine.

“It was over a lengthy period, and, combined with the food he didn’t realise he had drunk too much,” he explained.

“He felt ok to drive however he was nearly home when he was stopped by the police and he is now very sorry to have got his first conviction at the age of 49.”

Ferreira, who worked at a factory in Chard, was a mechanic by trade and was currently taking English lessons so he could return to that line of work.

His partner also did not drive which would mean a disqualification would prove “particularly painful” for him.

He was given a 12 month ban and fined £231 with £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.