WARLEGGAN man Bernard Kitto has been handed a suspended prison sentence and 46-month driving ban by magistrates after admitting his third drink-drive offence.
It was "unfortunate for Mr Kitto but fortunate for members of the public" that he was confronted by police in Bodmin, Sally Daulton, for the prosecution, told Bodmin magistrates on Thursday.
Chairman of the bench Pat Walker told Kitto the offence was so serious that custody – albeit suspended – was the only suitable sentence because he had been more than twice over the limit and it was his third offence.
She warned him that he would now be classed as a "high-risk offender" and must satisfy DVLA of his medical fitness to drive before he could get his licence back.
Kitto, aged 40, of Alexandria Flats, had admitted driving a Peugeot 205 with excess alcohol, without insurance or a licence and appeared before the court for sentencing.
Mrs Daulton said that on the afternoon of December 16 Kitto drove on to the forecourt of the Morrison's filling station on Priory Road with a female passenger.
When he went to pay two police officers present smelt alcohol on his breath and followed him back to the car, where he got into the driver's seat. Seeing them, he and his passenger swapped seats.
A 1.5-litre bottle of vodka was found in the car and a breath test showed Kitto had 85 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, the limit being 35mcg.
The court was told Kitto's licence had been revoked in April 2012 and he had two previous drink-drive convictions from 2001 and 2009, for each of which he had received three-year driving bans.
Chris Nicholls, for the defence, said Kitto was very unwell and needed help with his alcohol problem. The police had not seen him driving, but CCTV showed him driving on to the forecourt.
After considering an alcohol treatment requirement (ATR) assessment and pre-sentence report, in which probation officer Hannah Thomas described Kitto as "very motivated" to overcome a "significant and enduring" alcohol problem, the magistrates imposed a 12-week jail term, suspended for 12 months, with probation supervision, and an ATR.
He was also told to pay £85 costs and an £80 surcharge, but not offered a drink-drive course to reduce his ban as this had been offered and not taken up twice before.