A CONSTRUCTION worker faces losing his job after being caught in his car apparently drunk and with the engine running.

Michael Hall of Hatfield Road, Newton Aycliffe, sat in his car to warm up after being kicked out of the house during a New Year’s Day row with his partner, Darlington Magistrates’ Court heard today (Tuesday, January 14).

Prosecutor Graham Jacobs said when police arrived, Hall’s car wheels were stuck in a grass verge and officers believed that the 30-year-old was drunk.

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An officer removed the ignition keys but Hall refused to be tested for alcohol and was arrested.

Jonathan Harley, mitigating, said Hall had only drunk three pints and was unaware of the seriousness of refusing to take the test – a stance he took because he believed the officer’s behaviour towards him was unreasonable.

Mr Harley said a driving ban would result in Hall losing his job because he was expected to drive all over the country for work.

Hall, who already has two previous drink driving convictions, admitted failing to provide a specimen for analysis and magistrates said the matter was so serious they were considering a suspended custodial sentence and five-year driving ban.

They adjourned the case for a probation report and Hall will be sentenced on February 4 at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court.