Former HGV driver receives road ban for drink driving in Powys border village

A former HGV driver has been given a 17-month ban after he was caught driving while over the legal drink limit. Andrew James Howells, 53, was stopped at Rhos Common near Llandrinio after police followed his Ford Focus. His breath test reading was 64 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, when the legal limit is 35.

Welshpool Magistrates’ Court heard that he was spotted by police leaving the Punch Bowl tavern at around 8.30pm on December 3. Justin Espie, prosecuting, told the court that a police officer on patrol that evening saw a vehicle approach the pub’s car park exit and it then waited until police vehicle was out of sight. He added that the car was next located in Hendre Lane.

Howells, who admitted the offence and had no previous convictions, said he had lost his job as an HGV driver after losing his driving licence. The Magistrates’ Bench chair said: “We’ve read your letter and we send condolences to all the difficulties you’ve had. Obviously driving while under the influence of drink is a danger to yourself as well as the public and we do take it seriously.”

Howells, of Llwyn Perthi, Arddleen, was also ordered to pay a GBP120 fine, GBP34 victim surcharge and GBP85 court costs.