A FATHER-OF-TWO has been taken off the road for two years after getting behind the wheel while nearly three times over the limit.
Stephen Lemmon, 34, was found by police officers after drunkenly driving and parking up three-quarters of a mile away from his Copnor home on June 16.
Appearing at Portsmouth Magistrates Court on Tuesday, prosecutor Graham Heath told judge Barry Audus how the kitchen manager was ‘caused to leave’ his property following an argument with his partner.
He was discovered by city police stationary in his Vauxhall Corsa in Alexandra Road, Portsmouth, where he tested for 109mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.
Mitigating, a spokeswoman for the Probation Service explained the reason Lemmon had been seen sitting in his car was because of a genuine desire to get away – but not to actually offend.
She said: ‘He had a stressful day at work and an argument with his partner.
‘He bought alcohol and did not want to drive anywhere – that’s why he was found parked up.’
She went on to describe Lemmon as a ‘functioning alcoholic’, who despite a tendency to drink up to ‘two bottles of wine a day’, was open to changing his ways.
Lemmon’s lawyer said he had previously undergone a course of rehabilitation and had not driven since to day of the offence, instead opting to cycle to his job on Hayling Island.
It is here the court heard he works six days each week, with some days lasting from 7am until 10pm, depending on kitchen demand.
Sentencing, Mr Audus disqualified the defendant for 24 months, also imposing a community order for unpaid work over 12 months and costs amounting to £335.
Mr Audus said: ‘You have the opportunity to reduce this ban by 183 days if you complete a 16-hour drink-driving course by November 1.
‘If you do, you can drive by January 1, 2020.
‘However, break any of the requirements we’ve given you today and your sentence could be increased and you could well end up going to prison.’