A LORRY driver was spotted drinking a can of beer at the wheel by an off-duty police officer.
Thomas Moss, of Roskear Road, Cornwall, pleaded guilty at Worcester Magistrates Court on Friday (August 21) to driving on the M5 southbound with 78 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.
Lesley Ashton, prosecuting, said: “At 6.30pm an off duty police officer was travelling on the M5 southbound between junction five and junction six when they noticed the articulated lorry driven by the defendant.
“It was being driven in an erratic manner and when they overtook the vehicle they were able to see the driver was drinking from a can of beer and they called 999.
“They located the vehicle when it stopped at the service station,” she added.
Defence solicitor Will Harrison, said: “This is clearly going to have a massive impact on him, he has already lost his job as a result.
“The last six months have been particularly harsh on him, the very unfortunate mistake he made was as a result.
“His father died of cancer in February this year and was buried in March. His father had been the full carer of his disabled and ill mother, he has attempted to take this on.
“He would go round on Friday evening to help with shopping and so on, on this occasion he had made a phone call saying he could not go and she became tearful.
“The situation got the best of him and he made the foolish mistake to drink where he was.
“He often takes food and beverages in the cab, it had been his intention when parking up to have a chat and a drink with other drivers at the services.
“He did not realise he had drank to the amount he had and that he had gone past just the one can,” he added.
Chair of the bench Patricia Richards, fined the 48-year-old £150 and banned him from driving from 20 months.
He was also ordered to pay £85 in prosecution costs a £20 victim surcharge and £150 in court court charges.