A prolific drink-driver insisted he had only been sleeping in his car when police caught him behind the wheel while over the limit.
Vincent Francis Murray, 55, said he had been locked out of his home when officers came knocking on the car window, Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court was told.
JPs heard Murray, who has a number of previous convictions for driving with excess alcohol or failing to provide a specimen of breath, was later found to be more than twice the legal limit for driving.
But Murray, of Selwyn Street, Leigh, was charged with being drunk in charge of a vehicle and convicted after a trial.
Justices gave him a 12-month community order, which includes 150 hours’ community service, a six-month alcohol treatment requirement and 15 rehabilitation activity days, to be overseen by the probation service.
Murray, who is serving a five-year disqualification for a previous drink-driving offence from 2014, must also pay £620 court costs.
Katie Beattie, prosecuting, said police were called to Selwyn Street at around 6am on November 2, amid concerns for the welfare of a man seen sitting inside a car there and found Murray seated at the wheel with the key in the ignition.
He gave a positive roadside breathalyser test and was found to be more than twice the drink-driving limit, but he denied having any intention to drive.
Nick Lloyd, defending, said that his client had been out to the pub, the previous night.
And when he returned home he found there were problems with the front door lock which he attributed to the particularly cold weather.
Police arriving on the scene confirmed that it was a cold night, which supported Murray’s account.