An unexpected call to collect children on New Year’s Eve led to a driving ban for a Waterston welder.

Steven Allen, of Green Lane, pleaded guilty to drink-driving when he appeared at Haverfordwest magistrates court on Tuesday, February 19.

Vaughan Pritchard-Jones, prosecuting, told the court that Allen’s ex-partner contacted police at 3.12pm on New Year’s Eve to tell them she believed he was drink-driving, after he collected their children.

“She was concerned that he appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and, because he had the children in the car, she called the police.”

Officers found Allen, 35, in his garden and noticed an empty beer bottle and one which was three quarters full on a wall. He provided a positive breath sample and was later found to have 55mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, the legal limit is 35mg.

Mr Pritchard-Jones added that the prosecution accepted the beer he consumed after driving would have contributed to the reading, but he would still have been over the legal limit.

“He did not drive a particularly long distance, and he was only just over the limit, but it was an aggravating feature that he had children in the car.”

The bench heard that Allen had a previous drink-driving conviction in 2010.

Stuart John, defending, said Allen’s relationship with his long-term partner had broken down before Christmas, and he had not anticipated seeing his sons on the day in question.

“At short notice his ex-partner contacted him and said he could have them for a few hours.

“He drove the short distance to get them. There was an argument when he called at her property, which probably contributed to her decision to call the police.”

Mr John added that there was no suggestion of bad driving during the journey which lasted about three minutes, and Allen would be able to continue working as a welder.

Magistrates fined Allen £596 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £60 surcharge.

He was banned from driving for three years.