Ribble Valley dad-of-three caught almost four times drink drive limit when he turned to alcohol after death of his wife

A man who admitted driving with excess alcohol in Clitheroe was given 12 weeks in prison, suspended for a year, with a 20- day rehabilitation activity requirement and a nine month alcohol treatment programme.He was also banned for three years.
A man who admitted driving with excess alcohol in Clitheroe was given 12 weeks in prison, suspended for a year, with a 20- day rehabilitation activity requirement and a nine month alcohol treatment programme.He was also banned for three years.

A Clitheroe father-of-three, who turned to alcohol after his wife died suddenly, was caught almost four times the drink-drive limit at about 11am, a court was told.

Adam Lawson had turned up at Clitheroe Auction Mart, where he was planning to attend a car boot sale.

He later told police he had had eight cans of Carlsberg lager the night before and another at about 8am that morning when he woke up.

Lawson ( 41) had only been back on the road a few months after a 23-month ban for a previous excess alcohol offence in May, 2017. On that occasion, he had been three times the limit.

Burnley magistrates were told Lawson had been struggling to cope and had been 'crying out for help' since he lost his wife, who he had been with most of his life, in December 2015.

The car repair worker was now said to be drinking 70 units of alcohol a week and a lot of people were worried about him. Lawson’s solicitor told the hearing:” This is a good man.”

Mrs Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said two calls were made to the police about Lawson from the auction mart.

He had ignored a car parking attendant, yelled out of his window and left his vehicle at the top of the car park, not in a space. He was followed into the premises and was asked not to leave it there.

The defendant asked a staff member:” If I park my car correctly do I get free entry?”

He smelled of alcohol and police were called. Lawson gave a positive roadside breath test and at the police station blew 127 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Mrs Yates continued:” In interview, he said he had been drinking the night before and in the morning, but felt fine to drive.”

Probation officer Elliot Smith, who interviewed the defendant, said he had substantial alcohol misuse issues.

He had sought help from his GP and had been given contact details for Inspire, the alcohol treatment service.

The officer, who said Lawson did have the support of his parents, added :” A lot of people are concerned about this defendant’s alcohol misuse.”

Mr Peter King, defending Lawson, said: “ He has been crying out for help since the death of his wife. His coping mechanisms have just not been good enough.

"The drink- drive incident had been the catalyst for him no longer being in denial about his alcohol issue."

The solicitor also told the Bench:” This man and his family are going to struggle significantly were you to send him to prison. He and his family crucially need professional support in order to move on.”

Mr King added :” He is desperate to make amends to his family. He knows he has let them down significantly by the way he has been unable to cope."

The defendant, of Mayfield Avenue, Clitheroe, admitted driving with excess alcohol, on Lincoln Way, Clitheroe, on July 14th.

He was given 12 weeks in prison, suspended for a year, with a 20- day rehabilitation activity requirement and a nine month alcohol treatment programme. Lawson was banned for three years and was told to pay £85 costs and an £122 victim surcharge.

The Bench chairman told him:"There was a risk of harm to yourself, other road users and pedestrians.”