An unlicensed driver over the alcohol limit was pulled over by armed police after he was seen driving slowly in Washington.

Dale Brown, 27, refused to speak when a court clerk asked him to explain his actions on a busy Washington dual carriageway late on Tuesday, June 8.

The fabrication firm worker, of Greylingstadt Terrace, Stanley, County Durham, defended himself in silent fashion at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

READ MORE: Sunderland mum jailed after head-on crash killed daughter and cousin

When he did speak, it was to reject the offer of a place on a ban-reducing drink-driver rehabilitation course.

But he changed his mind on learning successful completion would cut his disqualification by a quarter – and agreed he might do it.

He also revealed he had started a new job two weeks ago.

Prosecutor Leanne Duffy said Brown was pulled over by armed police who spotted him driving suspiciously on the A182 Washington Highway at 11.50pm.

She added: “He was in a black Seat Ibiza, he was hesitant, he was driving at a very low speed.

“He was pulled over, and officers found his eyes to be blurred, his speech was slurred and he smelled of alcohol.

“A roadside breath test was failed.”

Ms Duffy said Brown blew a reading of 59mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath, against a legal limit of 35mcgs.

Further police checks showed he was the holder of only a provisional licence and was driving without insurance.

Brown, who is of previous good character, pleaded guilty to drink-driving, driving without a licence and driving without insurance.

He was banned from driving for 16 months and fined £420, with £85 court costs and a £42 victim surcharge.

Sign up for court news with our newsletters here