A HANDYMAN has kept his driving licence after he was caught supervising a learner driver while over the drink-drive limit.

Matthew Ian Ingram admitted the offence when he appeared before magistrates in Hereford on November 17.

Prosecutor Peter Love said police were on patrol in Hereford at 11.45pm on September 20 when they spotted a blue Ford Focus being driven on Hazel Grove.

Officers recognised the driver, who was a learner, and decided to follow the pair after noting there were no L plates on the car.

But as they reached Walnut Tree Avenue, the Ford stopped and the driver and Ingram, who was the passenger, both ran off.

A search was launched and Ingram, who officers said was unsteady on his feet, was found nearby.

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The 45-year-old told police he had been drinking that evening, and was taken into custody after failing a roadside breath test.

An evidential breath test revealed he had 72 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Marilena Di Vitantonio, for Ingram, said the handyman had thought he was doing the right thing in getting someone else to drive his car as he was over the limit.

"He did not realise he was in fact in charge of the car by asking someone without a full licence to drive," she said.

"It is a mistake he will have to live with."

The court heard Ingram needed his car to travel to and from work.

Ingram, of Golden Post, Hereford, was fined £67 and received ten penalty points. He must pay costs of £85 and a £34 victim surcharge.