A MAN got behind the wheel after getting into an argument over the phone with his girlfriend, despite having consumed alcohol.

Christopher Lewis was found to be more than double the drink drive limit when he was pulled over by police in Newtown on the evening of January 7, 2021 – this was despite him saying he’d only drunk two pints, six hours prior to being arrested.

Welshpool Magistrates’ Court heard on Tuesday, January 25, how Lewis, 34, had driven from his home in Shropshire to Newtown, where his partner was visiting her family, because he wanted to reconcile having become embroiled in an argument with her over the phone.

Prosecutor Katherine Elfin said it was just after 10pm when Lewis was spotted by police driving a Ford Transit to Newtown from the Welshpool direction.

“PCs Price and Rutter were on patrol on the Newtown bypass, when they saw a van heading to the town centre from Welshpool,” said Ms Elfin.

“They followed and witnessed it pulling over into the mouth of junction near an industrial estate. There was a lot of smoke coming out of the exhaust and they pulled alongside and asked to speak to the driver.

“They noticed he had glazed eyes, enlarged pupils, smelt of intoxicants and his speech was slurred."

Ms Elfin said the reading provided by Lewis was 81 micrograms of alcohol – more than double the legal limit of 35mcgs. She also said he had previous driving convictions, from more than 10 years ago.

Defending Lewis, of Isherwoods Way, Wem, Adrian Roberts said the loss of his licence would have a “massive” impact on his client.

“He is a self-employed tiler and the loss of his licence will have a massive impact on him, his business and his children," he said.

He also described Lewis as having an “impulsive personality”.

“His partner had gone to see her family in Newtown, they spoke on the phone and had cross words, which made him feel like he should go and sort it out,” added Mr Roberts.

“He felt fit to drive and was surprised by the reading.”

Magistrates banned Lewis from driving for 20 months; he can reduce this if he completes a drink drive awareness course. He was also fined £300 and must pay £85 costs as well as a £34 surcharge.