A DRINK driver who was more than three times the limit after a meltdown over an energy bill told police officers: ‘I’m drunk.’

Nicholas Wilkins admitted driving with excess alcohol at Worcester Magistrates Court.

Wilkins, who had drunk vodka after receiving the bill, was breathalysed after members of the public raised concerns about his driving.

The 59-year-old of Tapenhall Road, Fernhill Heath, near Worcester was driving his Volkswagen Passat when he was spoken to by officers in Chawson Lane, Droitwich on March 31 this year at around 2.25pm.

Nicola Ritchie, prosecuting, said Wilkins was seen ‘swerving from side to side and bumped the kerb’ and a member of the public stopped next to the car and spoke to him, asking him he was okay.

Miss Ritchie said: “PC Horton arrived and spoke to the defendant who described himself as drunk.”

The court heard a roadside breath revealed a reading of 133mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, close to four times the limit of 35mcg. However, a later sample of 116mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, was used in evidence.

District judge Nigel Cadbury said: “It was not long ago that anything over 105mcg would be a custodial sentence.

“That has now been increased to 120mcg. He was very close to that. There’s no doubt it passes the custodial threshold.”

Before he was sentenced Wilkins was interviewed by a probation officer, telling her this was his first offence for excess alcohol.

Wilkins ran a courier business which was set up in 2007 and was described as ‘no longer viable.’ He divorced in 2011and had fallen out with his brother in a row over a bungalow. The defendant had wanted to sell the house and his brother had not and Wilkins was landed with a Council Tax bill and an £1,800 energy bill.

“He has always been a drinker but always managed it okay” said the probation officer. He told her on the day he received the bill he bought a bottle of vodka and started drinking it.

Wilkins had been to Alcoholics Anonymous and Swanswell to get support and hopes to move back to North Hants where he is originally from.

“He has never been in trouble before. He went into meltdown” said the probation officer.

District judge Nigel Cadbury said he took into account the guilty plea and his lack of previous convictions.

Wilkins must complete a 12 month community order to include an alcohol treatment requirement for three months and 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

He banned him from driving for 24 months. The length of the ban will be reduced by 24 weeks if he completes a drink drive course by September 1, 2020.

Wilkins was also ordered to pay £135 costs and an £85 victim surcharge when sentenced last Thursday.