Whitley Bay HGV mechanic caught drink driving for second time in four years

A HGV mechanic has been banned from the roads for three years after he was caught drink driving for the second time in four years. Owen Ball was initially disqualified in 2018 after he got behind the wheel of a Vauxhall Corsa while over the limit and was stopped by police as he travelled through Whitley Bay. However, the 22-year-old proved he'd failed to learn his lesson after officers pulled him over again earlier this month, this time in VW Polo, and he once more failed a breath test, a court was told.

On that occasion, Ball had been to the pub with friends and came to the attention of police after they spotted him travelling above the speed limit in Whitley Bay. He was also noted to brake sharply when he saw them, prosecutors said. Read More: 'Emotional' Sunderland teen seen 'swerving' about roads in Volkswagen Polo after drinking booze

Now, Ball, of Saltwick Gardens, in Whitley Bay, has been handed the obligatory three-year disqualification, given when a defendant clocks up a second drink driving conviction within 10 years, after he pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court. Prosecutor, Rebecca Gibson, said police were on duty on Preston Road at around 10pm on September 3 this year when they spotted Ball in his VW Polo. Mrs Gibson continued: "They noted it was travelling in excess of the speed limit and the driver of the vehicle, on seeing the police vehicle, heavily applied the brakes and quickly turned into a housing estate."

The court heard that the officers caught up to Ball after he'd stopped on Medway Gardens and requested he did a breath test, which he failed. He later gave a reading of 72mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath when the legal limit is 35mcg. Stephen Moore, defending, said Ball had gone to the pub with friends on the night in question and had intended to leave his car.

Mr Moore added: "As events developed over the evening, Mr Ball's ex-girlfriend attended the pub with her friends and he decided to leave and go home. Foolishly, he got into the car." As well as the ban, Ball was fined GBP500 and ordered to pay GBP85 costs and a GBP200 victim surcharge.

Chairing magistrate, Stephen Cape, told him: "You don't seem to have learned your lesson from your last conviction for the same offence in 2018."

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