A DRINK-driver who gave an exceptionally high breath-test reading has been banned from driving for four years to protect the public.

Andrew West, 44, produced a reading of 158 microgrammes, compared with the legal limit of 35, after he was stopped by police who had noticed his vehicle only had three tyres on and the bumper was hanging off one side.

It is one of the highest alcohol readings ever recorded in the region and a judge told him he was too drunk to walk – let alone drive!.

West, of Offa Street, Brymbo, admitted driving with excess alcohol on October 22 and received a 24-week prison sentence suspended for a year.

He was placed under  supervision and Judge Niclas Parry  at Mold Crown Court ordered he should be seen once a week by the probation service.

The offence put him in breach of a previously suspended prison sentence for possessing an imitation firearm.

He received a three-month curfew for that but the judge said West was a chronic alcoholic and agreed to later start times for the curfew when he attended meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous.

“You put at risk yourself, your passenger and members of the public.

“You were too drunk to walk let alone drive,” the judge told him.

His vehicle had been in a highly dangerous condition and it was merciful no-one had been injured or killed.

But he took into consideration that he had pleaded guilty, he was lightly convicted and fortunately there were people who were prepared to help him with his chronic alcoholism.

Elen Owen, prosecuting, said West was stopped by the police in Holt Road, Wrexham, on October 22. He had a female passenger in the car.

West was driving a Hyundai Coupe at 7.45pm which had its bumper hanging off and it was dragging along the road. One tyre had disintegrated and was being driven on the wheel rim.

“It was non-existent,” said Miss Owen. She said police took the view it would have been impossible for him to control the vehicle in the absence of a tyre.

West was staggering when he got out of the car, his speech was slurred and he was clearly heavily under the influence.

The reading of 158 was “exceptionally high”, she said.

Simon Rogers, defending, said West was desperate for help.