A man who had travelled hundreds of miles from Scotland after celebrating Father's Day has been banned for drink driving after police spotted him appearing "erratic" on a road near Newtown.

Alan Dale, aged 39, from Glasgow, told the court he had learnt a "massive lesson" after he was pulled over by police on the A483 between Abermule and Newtown at around 10am on Sunday, June 18.

He was given the minimum 12-month disqualification and ordered to pay £891 to the court after pleading guilty to drink driving.

Welshpool Magistrates' Court heard two officers in a marked police car were travelling towards Newtown when they saw a blue Vauxhall convoy van in front of them "wandering in the road, crossing the white lines and the driver appeared erratic".

County Times: Dale was spotted by police wandering across the white lines near AbermuleDale was spotted by police wandering across the white lines near Abermule (Image: Google Street View)

After stopping the vehicle, police noted that Dale was "very drowsy", his speech was slurred, and his breath smelt of alcohol.

A breath test reading of 58 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath was recorded, the legal limit is 35mg.

Prosecutor Rhian Jackson said Dale told police that he had set off at 4.30am from Glasgow and was travelling to Swansea when he was stopped in mid Wales. He admitted he struggled to keep awake and was "extremely drowsy" having taken two anti-depressants at 4am and 8am that day.

Owain Jones, defending, told the court that his client's situation painted a "depressing" picture.


Mr Jones said: "You’ve heard the defendant consumed alcohol the night before. It happened to be Father’s Day and you heard the journey he took.

"He tells me he was feeling drowsy which I can tell you now the main point of mitigation is he is sorry. He tells me it is a massive lesson for him, and I hope his guilty plea and co-operation with police are indications for his genuine remorse.

"His financial situation is a bit precarious. During Covid he was having to manage business affairs all alone because everyone else was on furlough and his mental health had dipped, in his words. He wasn’t remunerated properly and got himself into incredible debt.

“He has secured a new job as a heating engineer. The worry is once he loses this licence, he will lose this job. Today’s punishment is only the beginning of his concerns, and losing his job will effectively lose his family home."

The court was told the anti-depressants Dale had taken would heighten drowsiness when mixed with alcohol.


Mr Jones continued: He’s never been in trouble before and this is a massive, massive lesson and a shock to him.

“He wants to get back working and earning for his family.”

Magistrates ordered Dale, of Mountford Avenue, Rutherglen, to pay a £576 fine, £230 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

Chairman of the magistrates' bench Geoff Bull told Dale: "You certainly don’t need a lecture from me, you know the consequences.

"There is a far bigger price, and we can’t do anything about that. Draw a line under it.”