A MAN has been banned from driving for 17 months after being caught behind the wheel while he was twice the drink drive limit.

Alexander Vassallo, of East Croft, Stanhope, was caught on CCTV driving a BMW with two flat tyres across a petrol station forecourt in Hexham in June last year.

The 21-year-old admitted driving at the petrol station after letting his friend drive from Corbridge to Hexham. Newcastle Magistrates’ Court heard the car had two flat tyres after it hit a kerb at the Tesco roundabout, on Alemouth Road. Vassallo then drove the car 105 metres to assess the damage.

He argued he shouldn’t be banned because he only drove the short distance, but a breath test revealed he had 71 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Vassallo was also ordered to pay a £230 fine, £85 court costs and a £30 surcharge.