A drunken trucker who was swigging cans of lager at the wheel of his HGV has been banned from the road.
Kevin Crane, 64, was spotted swerving on the inside lane of the A1M in North Yorkshire with a can of Fosters in his hand.
A concerned motorist telephoned police and Crane was stopped and blew 53micrograms in 100 millilitres – the legal limit is 35.
Harrogate Magistrates’ Court heard Crane, of Ashton-in-Makerfield, Greater Manchester, was driving his HGV southbound on the A1M at 2pm on 23 January.
Prosecutor Katy Varlow said:”North Yorkshire Police received a phone call from another driver reporting that a male driving a HGV was drinking from cans of Fosters and the caller gave the registration of the vehicle.”
Traffic officers joined the motorway at Wetherby Services, Junction 46, and followed Crane’s tanker.
“It was swerving in and out of the white lines,” said Mrs Varlow.
Police stopped Crane off junction 45 and when he sat in the patrol car they smelled alcohol on his breath.
Crane pleaded guilty to drink driving.
Mitigating Andrew Tinning said Crane had been drinking because of personal problems.
“He had been married for 43 years and has two grown up children,” Mr Tinning told the bench.
The couple had separated and Crane had hoped to be reconciled with his wife.
“But, shortly before the incident she asked for a divorce. He was despressed and it led to the situation where he was drinking whilst doing his job,” said Mr Tinning.
“He is extremely remorseful.”
The court heard Crane had driven from Widnes to Northallerton where he had started drinking the Fosters and was heading to Knottingley when he was pulled over.
Mr Tinning said Crane, who has been a HGV driver for most of his life, was ‘self medicating’ with alcohol.
His employers of 12 years sacked him and he now works as a warehouse man.
Magistrates disqualified Crane for 16 months, fined him £300 and he must pay £30 surcharge and £85 costs.
He told the bench:”I’m very sorry about what has happened.”
Chairwoman Alison Stockdale told Crane:”This is made more serious because you were driving a heavy goods vehicle.”