A MOTORIST from Donnington had drunk almost three times the legal limit when he was caught behind the wheel.
And it was not the first time Gary William Hayes had committed a similar offence, Reading magistrates heard.
Helen Gambrill, prosecuting, said concerned members of the public alerted police to the fact that the 62-year-old, of Alexandria Cottages, Castle Lane, was putting the public at risk by driving.
Tests subsequently showed 306mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in Mr Hayes’ system.
The legal limit is 107mg.
Mr Hayes had denied being in charge of a Peugeot 207 in Castle Lane, Donnington, on April 15.
But he failed to attend his trial and was convicted in his absence.
Mr Hayes also has a previous conviction for drink-driving in 2014, the court heard.
Steve Molloy, defending, told a sentencing hearing on Friday, September 15, that his client had not intentionally missed his trial, but had got his dates mixed up.
In addition, said Mr Molloy, Mr Hayes suffers from mobility problems.
He added: “In fact, he is in very poor health. He has had two knee replacements and he suffers from gout.”
Mr Molloy said he did not believe his client would benefit from an alcohol treatment programme.
District judge Shomond Khan pointed out: “This is quite a high reading and he has a previous conviction... arguably, this crosses the custody threshold.”
However, after considering a probation report, Mr Khan did not impose an immediate custodial sentence. Instead he sentenced him to six weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.
Mr Hayes was ordered to pay £200 costs, plus a statutory victim services surcharge of £115 and he was banned from driving for four years.