A man who drove a Transit van 35 miles while over double the legal alcohol limit has lost his licence.

Simon Peter Owen, 50, admitted the offence at Llandrindod Wells Magistrates’ Court.

Rhian Jones, prosecuting, told the court that police were called at around 1pm on March 29 to reports that the driver of a vehicle was drinking a can of Special Brew while parked on Temple Drive, in Llandrindod Wells.

Police went to the area and Owen confirmed he was the owner of the vehicle. He denied drinking the can, claiming that he had been cleaning it up after it fell from the door and split open.

When a breath test came back positive, he was taken to Newtown Police Station and gave a further reading of 74 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit is 35.

When interviewed, Owen said he had driven from his travellers’ site in Luston, Herefordshire, that morning to help friends move some furniture.

He admitted to drinking six to eight cans of Special Brew the previous evening.

Gareth Walters, for Owen, said the defendant denied drinking that morning, and thought he would be safe to drive.

He added: “If he thought he was not fit to drive, he would not have driven.

“This is his first conviction of any kind.”

Owen was banned from driving for 20 months, which could be reduced by 20 weeks if he completes a drink-drive awareness course.

He was also told to pay a £120 fine, £85 costs and a £30 surcharge.