A PLANT operator has been banned from the roads for four years after he was caught driving while 'clearly drunk'.

Francisco de Pinenta Frajuca admitted drink-driving when he appeared before magistrates in Hereford.

Police had seen his red Mercedes driving away from the Golden Cross pub in Sutton St Nicholas on September 17, prosecutor Ralph Robyns Landricombe said.

The officers who stopped the car and spoke to the driver, de Pinenta Frajuca, said he was clearly drunk, with glazed eyes and slurred speech, and he was arrested after failing a roadside breath test.

An evidential breath test in custody revealed he had 87 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

The court heard he has three previous drink-driving convictions, most recently being disqualified for 46 months in 2013.

Philip Cornell, for de Pinenta Frajuca, said the 47-year-old had been in the UK for 34 years and is in employment.

"He lives in an annexe at a farm and works as a plant operator," Mr Cornell said.

"He will not lose his job as he can be picked up and driven to work and operate plant on site.

"He is a responsible and worthwhile person who is a valued employee and is doing a good job, but gets drink occasionally and does something so stupid and irresponsible as drink-driving."

De Pinenta Frajuca, of Preston Wynne, Herefordshire, was disqualified from driving for four years and fined £30. He must also undergo a three-month alcohol treatment programme, pay costs of £135, and a £95 victim surcharge,