A motorist who got behind the wheel of a minibus despite being almost four times over the drink-drive limit has escaped jail.
David Seddon, from Leigh, is believed to have one of the highest levels of alcohol on his breath ever recorded in the borough and has now been given a lengthy driving ban.
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court heard Seddon, from Leigh, had 129 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, compared to the limit of just 35 microgrammes.
He was at the wheel of a company vehicle on Walter Leigh Way in Leigh on February 6 while more than three and a half times over the permitted amount, the court heard.
Earlier in the hearing Seddon was frankly told by the legal adviser his reading was so high sentencing guidelines ordered magistrates to consider sending him to prison.
However, Seddon, who was unrepresented in court, avoided ending up behind bars, with the bench choosing to suspend the 12-week prison sentence imposed on him for a year.
He was also banned from the road for three years, although he was told he can reduce that by 36 weeks towards the end of the sentence if he succesfully completes a drink-driving course.
He was also told to undertake a six-month course of alcohol treatment and a 10-day rehabilitation requirement and was also sentenced to 60 hours of unpaid work.
The bench also imposed an £80 victims’ surcharge and £80 in costs on him.
Though Seddon, of Leigh Road, falls some way short of the incredible total of 275mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath recorded by a woman pulled over by Cleveland Police in 2013, his is still an extraordinarily high figure.
A London driver who got behind the wheel four times over the limit last year was described to the national press by officers from the Metropolitan Police as having the highest reading they had ever seen.
In that incident the driver had 319mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, compared to the legal limit of 80mg.
A Grimsby motorist also made headlines in 2014 for crashing her car and giving a roadside test of 163mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, almost five times over the limit.