A TAXI driver was found to be more than twice the legal drink drive limit when he was stopped by police in Bishop Auckland.

Michael Cullen, 52, was stopped in his Toyota Auris on Worcester Place, in Bishop Auckland, on Monday, February 10 at 4.45pm.

Cullen, of Worcester Place, gave a breath test reading of 80mgs of alcohol in 100ml of breath, with the limit being 35mg.

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Jennifer Coxon, mitigating, said that Cullen claimed he had been told that he was not needed to drive that afternoon.

As a result Cullen had lunch where he drank a full bottle of wine. He then got into his car to go and buy more alcohol.

Miss Coxon added that Cullen did not have any passengers at the time. She said that he would not have drunk the wine if he needed to do a pick-up later in the day.

Cullen pleaded guilty to a charge of drink driving at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court today. (Friday, February 28)

He was banned from driving for 17-months and was ordered to pay a £110 fine and a £20 victim surcharge. No costs were imposed.