A young farmer who was left stranded in Newtown after a night out with friends must wear a tag after he was caught driving while almost three times the limit near McDonald's.

Welshpool Magistrates' Court heard that Dyfrig Harding was "so drunk" that he was unable to use a breathalyser properly when he was caught behind the wheel of an SUV in Cambrian Way.

The 22-year-old from Clatter, near Caersws was given a two-year driving ban and ordered to complete a 12-month conditional community order after he pleaded guilty to drink driving on Tuesday, January 4.

The court heard that just after 2.30am on Saturday, December 9, police spotted Harding's Suzuki Grand Vitara driving slowly before pulling him over. The officer noticed that Harding, who admitted he had been drinking, smelt of alcohol and was unbalanced on his feet.

After failing three attempts to provide a roadside breath test, Harding was taken to the police station where a reading showed that he had 94 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, which exceeded the prescribed limit of 35.


Robert Hanratty, representing Harding, told the court that a driving ban would create "enormous problems" for the 22-year-old and his family before handing a letter to the magistrates.

"It shows from a family perspective how serious the situation is. He lives with his father. Losing his licence will be an absolute disaster for this family. The have holdings in five different locations.

"He lives right in the middle of nowhere. It's going to create enormous hardship. I urge the shortest ban, given the logistics and personal responsibilities this young man had.

"Family life had been at crisis and very sad things have gone the way it had. This young man is trying to deal with it. The night out was a coping mechanism. He lives in the remotest farmhouse in the area really. His licence is most essential to this family. He made a rash decision."

The court heard from probation officer Julian Davies after having a discussion with Harding.

"He tells me he was drinking with friends from 8pm in Newtown that night and consumed quite a lot of alcohol. He intended to get a lift home from a friend, but his friend left without him and he was left stranded in Newtown. He called for a taxi but couldn't get one before taking the stupid decision to drive home.

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"Looking back, it was clearly stupid and he agrees he should never have occurred and regrets doing it.

"Mr Harding tells me that he lives with his father who suffers from a rare nerve disorder and that he cares for his father. He words seven days-a-week farming with five different locations in Powys. He has a self-employed worker who helps on two days a week.

"He tells me he is a social drinker who does not usually drink to excess. He does feel a lot of stress with his father's illness and business issues."

Magistrates decided that Harding must attend six rehabilitation days to look at his reasoning and alcohol issues as part of the 12-month community order. He must also wear an alcohol abstinence tag for 90 days and ordered to pay a £114 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

Chair of the magistrates' bench Sarah Sargent told him: “This benefits you all the way through. We wish you well for the future. The results of your actions now have consequences.”