A CHESHIRE man found behind the wheel of his mum's car was more than three times the drink-drive limit.

Mark Stuart Johnston, 41, of Runcorn Road, Barnton, Northwich, was found in the driving seat of the parked Toyota Yaris appearing "dishevelled" and with slurred speech, Chester Magistrates Court heard on Monday, April 26.

Johnston was handed a suspended prison sentence.

Empty cans of alcohol were also seen in the passenger seat, prosecutor Michael O'Kane told the court.

He explained police had gone to an address on Stanley Grove, Northwich on February 1, for a suspected multiple Covid breach.

While there, an officer noticed Johnston sitting in the driving seat, seatbelt fastened, with the engine running.

As the defendant went to leave the vehicle, he stumbled, and the officer noted he looked "heavily intoxicated".

He said: "I am over the limit but I was not driving."

He was not the owner, and did not have insurance or a licence to drive the car.

He was "argumentative" and kept questioning officers, and due to his state, was told by officers to remain in the police car while they went to deal with the suspected Covid breach.

But Johnston then made his way out and resisted efforts to arrest him, leading an officer to take him to the ground with "a leg sweeping motion" so handcuffs could be placed.

Johnston gave a reading of 288 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, more than three times the legal limit of 80.

He had nine previous convictions for 16 offences, including three drink-driving offences which each dated back more than 10 years.

Defending, Richard Sibeon said Johnston suffered from anxiety and depression.

Alcohol had been "a consistent feature" in his convictions and had wrestled with these issues at various times.

He accepted having driven to the address, which he shouldn't have done in the first place, and accepted drinking a "large amount of alcohol" while there.

His excuse for being in the car was, Johnston said, that he was showing it to his friend, an excuse which District Judge Nicholas Sanders said was "implausible".

Mr Sibeon added a pre-sentence report had recommended Johnston receive an alcohol treatment programme as an alternative to custody.

District Judge Sanders told Johnston: "Not only do you have a poor record, you appeared at Chester Crown Court in June 2017 for pretty much the same offence and received the same sentence – alcohol treatment programme and rehabilitation – yet here you are three and a half years later, here again."

Johnston was sentenced to 14 weeks imprisonment for being in charge of a car while over the limit, and two more weeks for resisting a police officer, but the 16-week sentence would be suspended for two years.

He was banned from driving for two years and must complete 30 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement and a three-month alcohol treatment programme.

He must also pay a £128 victim surcharge an £85 court costs.