Wales

Trucker admits drink-driving after Deeside visit

An overseas truck driver is going home as a passenger in his own lorry after admitting he was more than twice the drink-drive limit behind the wheel.

Istvan Nagy, 41, from Hungary, was banned from driving for 18 months at a bank holiday sitting of Flintshire magistrates' court at Mold on Saturday.

The court heard he had drunk heavily the night before driving to a Deeside depot, where he drank two small beers.

His firm has sent a replacement driver to return Nagy and the lorry.

Nagy, who lives about 50 miles from Budapest, was arrested on Thursday night after a manager at a weighbridge told police that the driver of a lorry on Deeside Industrial Estate appeared intoxicated, magistrates heard.

Christine O'Kane, prosecuting, said when police asked him to take a breath test 20 minutes later, Nagy returned a result of 82 microgrammes of alcohol in his breath compared to the legal limit of 35.

During his interview at Mold police station, he said that he had driven 70kms to Deeside but could not be specific about where he had driven from, the court was told.

Interpreter

Mark Davies, defending, said: "It is not a case that he was drinking while driving the vehicle."

Mr Davies said his client was a professional driver but did not properly understand the rules and regulations in the UK.

He said Nagy, who spoke no English and who followed the proceedings with the aid of an interpreter, had been drinking heavily with a colleague the night before and then drank two small bottles of beer after parking his 18-tonne lorry.

Nagy was fined £250 with £100 costs but, because he did not have a sufficient amount of cash on him, his employers had authorised the payment of the penalty on the company credit card Nagy used to buy fuel.