Drink-driving welder was three times the legal limit when he drove to Tesco to buy a leg of lamb


Motorist Cristian Nedelcu drove to a supermarket to buy a leg of lamb when almost three times the legal limit.

The 34-year-old Romanian was followed by police after they became concerned about his driving and saw him swerving and crossing the centre white lines.

They followed him to Tesco, Hanley, where they spoke to him and could immediately smell alcohol on his breath.

He provided a positive roadside breath test and was taken to custody where he was breathalysed and gave a reading of 104 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, against the legal limit of 35.

Now Nedelcu has been handed a 12-month community order and hit with a two-year driving ban at North Staffordshire Justice Centre.

The defendant was caught drink-driving

Prosecutor Sue Hayers said police pulled up at traffic lights alongside the defendant’s Peugeot car in Shelton New Road at 9.30pm on April 18.

Miss Hayers said: “The officer noticed the defendant driving off very slowly and he continued to drive at a very low speed.

“Because of the manner of the driving the officer followed the vehicle to Stoke Road and Broad Street where it was swerving in the road and driving over the centre white lines. It proceeded to Tesco in Clough Street, Hanley, and it was stopped.

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“The officer could smell alcohol on his breath. He was asked if he had been drinking and he said, ‘Maybe’. He was asked to undertake a roadside breath test.

“He was taken into custody and after caution he volunteered he had been drinking alcohol. He drinks alcohol every day. He had been drinking because it was Easter in his own country.

“He was breathalysed and gave a reading of 104 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – nearly three times the legal limit of 35.”

Nedelcu, of Oxford Street, Penkhull, pleaded guilty to drink-driving.

The court heard the defendant had drunk four beers and some whisky. He did not feel drunk and decided to drive to Tesco as he needed a leg of lamb for the Easter celebrations.

He works as a welder for a trailer company in Cheshire and is currently furloughed.

Colin Drew, mitigating, added: “His wife and son are in Romania. He sends £500 a month to Romania.”

As part of the community order Nedelcu must complete 60 hours unpaid work. He was fined £400 and ordered to pay £135 costs and an £85 surcharge.

District Judge Kevin Grego said: “You must have drunk the best part of a bottle of whisky to get to the reading you did. The frightening aspect of this is that you then got behind the wheel of a car for an unnecessary journey. You put your own life at risk. That is your choice. But I balk at the idea you put other people’s lives at risk.

“Drink-drivers are a danger and cause fatalities on the road.”

Nedelcu’s ban will be reduced by 26 weeks if he completes a drink-drivers’ rehabilitation course.





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