A lonely joiner working in Blackpool went out for a drink and was found to be almost three times over the limit by police.
Terry Dixon had debts and did not have the money for fuel to drive home to his wife and three children in Tyneside.
Dixon, 36, of Hadrian Row, Jarrow, admitted driving with excess alcohol and having no insurance.
He was sentenced to do 100 hours unpaid work for the community, banned from the road for 24 months and ordered to pay £20 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.
Peter Bardsley, prosecuting, said police stopped Dixon’s Renault van on the resort’s New Bonny Street after it registered as having no insurance on November 23 about midnight.
A breath test showed 94 micrograms of alcohol in his body - 35 is the limit.
Hugh Pond, defending, said his client was in dire financial straits as he had taken out high interest Payday loans to buy his van and keep the family afloat.
Dixon had been dismissed from his job following the offence and his wife had expelled him from the family home for a while.