A FATHER has been banned from driving for two years after being caught at the wheel while almost three times the drink/drive limit.

Nicholas Bruce, 39, pleaded guilty to drink-driving when he appeared at Stroud Magistrates’ Court on Monday, February 24.

The court heard that Bruce, of Wells Road, Eastcombe, had 99 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, the legal limit being 35 microgrammes.

Magistrates were told that Bruce was stopped by police on the A46 near Woodchester at 1am on Thursday, January 16.

Officers then became aware that Bruce had been driving without a licence or insurance for 17 years, the court heard.

Kirsty Gordon-Cleaver, for the defence, said her client had been banned from the road for 12 months in 1997 for drink-driving and was unaware that he needed to re-apply for his licence.

He was also unaware that this meant he was not covered by insurance.

Mrs Gordon-Cleaver also told the court that Bruce’s wife had recently been diagnosed with cancer, meaning he was the primary carer for their 19-month-old son.

He had been drinking that night to ‘escape’ from his problems, she said.

“He has no intention of committing any further offences,” added Mrs Gordon-Cleaver.

“He knows what he did was wrong and doesn’t want to make any excuses, he didn’t even want me to mention the personal circumstances surrounding his wife.”

Bruce was given a conditional discharge and banned from driving for 24 months. He was fined £200 for the drink-drive offence and £50 for the insurance charge.

He must also pay £85 in costs plus a £20 victim surcharge.