A DRUNKEN high school teacher fell over and rolled about on the ground before getting into his car to drive to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
David Pinder, a teacher at Highfield High School in South Shore, Blackpool, was almost three times over the alcohol limit as he drove, a court was told.
A woman friend he was giving a lift to the AA meeting ordered him to pull over and then take her home when she realised he was drunk.
Pinder, 46, of Marton, pleaded guilty to driving a Fiat Croma with excess alcohol when he appeared before Blackpool magistrates.
He was sentenced to 12 months’ supervision, must attend the drink impaired drivers’ scheme and was banned from the road for five years by District Judge Jeff Brailsford.
Sandra Ardern, prosecuting, said Pinder turned up at his friend’s home on January 6 to collect her to go to the AA meeting.
The prosecutor said: “He fell over and rolled about on the ground before getting into his vehicle.
“It only became clear to his friend, when he was driving, that he was drunk.”
As he drove on to Preston New Road, at about 7.30pm, Pinder began driving erratically, weaving from side to side of the road.
His friend at first thought it was because he was still winded from his fall outside the car, the court heard.
After Pinder’s driving became more erratic still, she asked him to pull over and he did so.
His friend was angry and asked him to take her home.
After they returned to the friend’s home, the police arrived having been alerted by a witness who had seen Pinder driving.
A breath test showed 97 micrograms of alcohol in his body – 35 is the limit.
Pinder had a previous drink-driving conviction from December 2006 when a breath test showed he was twice over the limit with 67 micrograms of alcohol in his body.
Mitch Sarangi, defending, said: “It was a catastrophic setback. He is an intelligent man and he is disgusted with himself.
“He has held down a job at the school where he has worked for nine years.
“His employers were aware he was seeking help and going to AA meetings and have been supportive. His work has never been affected. He never drinks during the week.”