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Gretna factory employee caught more than four times the legal drink-drive limit



A factory employee from Gretna was found to be more than four times the legal drink-drive limit after parking up at his place of work.

Mark Smith, 48, could now face a prison sentence after being caught on camera committing the crime on May 6.

Prosecutor Pam Ward told Carlisle Magistrates’ Court two police officers were on duty at 8.50pm when they were made aware of an “ongoing incident” at a nearby factory in the city’s Brunel Way area.

Mrs Ward said: “It was reported that a member of staff had undergone an internal alcohol testing procedure and provided a positive result.”

Police went to that site and were greeted by a staff member on the gate who reported a male they had in their security booth who smelled of alcohol.

Smith had earlier been seen driving a Renault Clio into the
site.

“They reviewed CCTV which showed the defendant parking the vehicle before getting out and walking into the factory,” said Mrs Ward.

“Mr Smith was spoken to and stated ‘yes’, he had driven to work.

“He was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.”

Smith failed an initial breath test but had been, said the prosecutor, “fully co-operative”.

The lower of two further evidential readings given at a police station showed he had 141 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

The legal limit is 35mcg.

Mrs Ward told the court: “He has no previous convictions so he stands before you as a man of previous good character.”

Smith, of Union Road, Gretna, admitted driving with excess alcohol.

He was not represented by a solicitor and listened as magistrates concluded they would seek a background report before passing sentence.

However, a probation officer said the case would need to be adjourned for several weeks as Smith lived in Scotland — outside the probation service’s
jurisdiction.

Explaining the court’s powers of sentence to Smith, lead magistrate Lynne Gauntlett told him: “The starting point for this (offence) is 12 weeks’ custody.

“We can go from a (range of) high level community order to 26 weeks’ custody and a significant driving disqualification.”

Smith was also advised to obtain legal advice.

When he learned the case was being adjourned to June 28, he told the court: “I’ve got a job to start next week.”

He was bailed and handed an interim driving ban.

When asked whether he had driven to court, Smith replied: “No, I took public transport.”





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