A MAN who was caught “driving erratically” when nearly four times over the limit has been handed a suspended sentence.

Gary McDonald, 46, from Sowerby near Thirsk, was given a 12-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months, and was disqualified from driving for 30 months.

At around 12pm on December 19, 2017, a member of the public reported a white Ford Transit van to be “driving erratically”.

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Pleading guilty in front of Northallerton magistrates on Tuesday, the court heard how McDonald was followed on the A168 through Norby and into Thirsk.

Alison Whiteley, prosecuting, said police confronted the driver in Tesco car park when he was trying to park.

She said: “McDonald was seen backing onto a kerb and when officers approached he tried to walk away.

“He appeared unsteady on his feet, swaying backwards and forwards, and had a strong smell of alcohol.”

A roadside breath test found he had 130 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath – nearly four times the legal limit of 35.

Nick Woodhouse, mitigating, said McDonald has had problems with alcohol for some time.

He added: “Despite going 12 months drink-free, he turned back to drink after finding it difficult to cope with the separation from his wife.”

McDonald was handed a victim surcharge of £115, court costs of £85 and ordered to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work and 25 days rehabilitation.