A SOLDIER who drives tanks for the British army in Afghanistan has been banned for drink-driving back home in Flintshire.

Ashley John Caunce, 23, of Banks Road in Mancot was twice the drink-drive limit when he drove 400 metres from a local pub to a friend’s house in the early hours of April 4.

At a hearing at Mold Magistrates’ Court, Steven Alis, defending, said: “Ashley had been working on a tour of duty in Afghanistan for five and a half months. He had returned home just days before the incident.

“He had gone out with some friends and consumed some alcohol. He had driven to the pub and intended to walk home but as his friend’s house was 400 metres away he stupidly decided to jump into his vehicle and drive to the property.”

Caunce was spotted by police, breathalysed on the roadside and arrested.

The court heard Caunce had been in the army for eight years and had been on three tours of Afghanistan.

Mr Alis said: “His driving career would be put on hold if he was banned and the army takes a dim view of driving offences.

“He accepts it was a very stupid thing to do.”

Caunce admitted driving a motor vehicle while over the prescribed limit of alcohol and was banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay £500 costs.

His ban will be cut by three months if he completes a drink-driving rehabilitation course.