A FORMER taxi driver has been banned from driving for a year after admitting being behind the wheel while over the limit.
Steven Eden of Maple Avenue, Ince, pleaded guilty at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court after he was pulled over by police on Moss Lane, Platt Bridge, in the early hours of the morning on March 8.
The court heard how Eden was stopped after the manner of his driving attracted the attention of police officers. He was found to have 67 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, compared to the legal limit of 35 microgrammes.
He said he had drunk around eight cans of alcohol during the course of the afternoon before going to bed at around 8.30pm.
Members of the court heard how Eden was woken just after 1am by a phone call from his acquaintance Gareth Booth asking him to pick up his father-in-law Adrian Turner who was allegedly drunk, staggering and aggressive.
Mr Booth, a mechanic, explained to the court that he was unable to assist as he had a roadside breakdown job to attend and that a taxi service has refused to give Mr Turner a lift due to his aggressive nature.
Eden, who suffered a brain injury from a previous incident in December last year, was visibly upset in court.
He said he was concerned about Mr Turner, who was about half a mile away from Eden, and that he did not realise he was over the limit at the time. He admitted that to him, it was an emergency.
He added: “He was a danger. If I had left him he could have been killed.”
The magistrates were told that once Eden had picked up his father-in-law he drove about half a mile to Moss Lane before being stopped by police and breathalysed.
David Achilles, defending, said Eden, 38, had got behind the wheel due to a serious family emergency, and only set off to help after being unable to get in contact with any of his relations.
Sarah Perkins, prosecuting, said: “I would submit that there was absolutely nothing that would warrant emergency reasons to drive. The defendant said he thought he wasn’t under the influence when he drove and that is the top and bottom of it.
“Had there been an oncoming vehicle with children in he could have been facing much more serious charges.”
Eden was sentenced to a 12-month driving ban, which will be reduced to nine months if he completes the drink driving rehabilitation course.
He was ordered to pay £100 costs, £110 fine and £20 victim surcharge.