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A Northumberland man has been banned from getting behind the wheel for 25 months after drink-driving and overtaking a police car waiting at a red light.

Stephen Bush, 55, dodged past the officers in their unmarked car, prompting them to pull him over and administer a roadside breath test. The results revealed him to be almost three times the legal drink-drive limit, with 102mcg alcohol per 100ml breath. The legal limit is 35mcg. Bush was arrested and taken into custody at the police station.

James Long, prosecuting, described to the court how officers had been waiting at a red light in Choppington when Bush pulled up behind them in his Audi.

“The defendant decided not to wait for the red traffic light to go through its normal sequence and goes through it and over the bridge in front,” said Mr Long.

“The two police officers followed him and stopped him and spoke to him. They could smell alcohol on his breath and he says ‘Aye, I have been on the drink all day, I’m not going to lie’.”

Graham Crouth said in mitigation that his client, who works for a ventilation installation company, had acted “foolishly” in making the decision to drink and drive. “In terms of the overtaking manoeuvre, he’s not the only one that takes their chances there because there’s a long delay.

“However, overtaking what turns out to be an unmarked police vehicle is pretty foolish.

“He’s very frank and honest with the police about consuming alcohol.”

After Bush pleaded guilty to drink-driving, South East Northumberland Magistrates Court banned him from driving for 25 months and impose a fine of £583.