A ‘drunk’ man found asleep outside a Burger King restaurant in the driver’s seat of his car with canisters of petrol and paraffin on the back seat has been allowed to keep his licence.
Stuart Richard Bamber, 53, of Stanhill Road, Oswaldtwistle, was found outside the burger outlet by fire officers after members of the public became concerned after seeing him asleep in the car with the containers of fuel in the rear.
Blackburn Magistrates’ Court heard that Bamber was ‘very groggy’ when the firefighters found him in his silver Honda Jazz car and they gave him two bottles of water and a cup of coffee to rouse him.
Bamber was asleep in the driver’s seat and the keys were in the ignition but there was no indication that the car had been recently driven.
Prosecutor Paul Sumner told the court that the events unfolded at around 10.30pm on Friday, February 28 at Grimshaw retail park, Blackburn.
Mr Sumner said: “The fire officers first on the scene smelled alcohol on him and police were called.”
After his arrest Bamber provided a sample of .75 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than twice the legal limit.
Bamber, who at the time had a clean driving record, pleaded guilty to a charge of being in charge of a vehicle while over the legal limt. He had a previous conviction for the same offence dating back to 1999.
Defending, Ben Leech told the court that earlier in the day Bamber had been working with another man renovating a property he had bought but they had ‘been rained off’.
He said: “They decided to weigh in some scrap metal and gained £70 so they decided to go drinking on Blackburn town centre. He arranged with his wife to pick him later after she had attended a function.
“He cannot explain why he ended up asleep in the car.
“It was possibly to get away from the rain.
“He had never even considered driving himself.
“He would have got a taxi or stuck with the plan to get picked up.”
Mr Leech said losing his licence would have ‘very serious consequences’ as he worked in fibreoptics for internet connectivity and was in line for work in the south of England.
The bench fined Bamber £80 and ordered him to pay costs and surcharges of £117.
They endorsed his licence by 10 points, meaning he will still be able to drive.