A MAN prevented his drunk friend from driving by drink driving himself, city magistrates heard.

The defence solicitor for Dominic Badger told Worcester Magistrates Court his client was “mortified” by his actions that could cost him his first job.

Badger admitted drink driving when he appeared at the court on Thursday.

Melanie Winterflood, prosecuting, told the court that a Vauxhall Tiguan came to police attention at just before midnight on April 1 after seeing the car driven through the restricted area of Worcester Bus Station and swerving between lanes.

Police put on blue lights to get the vehicle to stop, the prosecutor said.

The 24-year-old, who had his friend in the car, then stopped it in the middle of New Road, Worcester, before officers approached him smelling alcohol, with Badger slurring his words.

After failing a breathalyser test Badger was then taken to Worcester Police Station where he gave a reading of 74mcg of alcohol in 100 ml of breath, the legal limit being 35mcg.

Mark Turnbull, defending, said Badger usually drove to Worcester and left his car overnight, getting a taxi home.

“He was with friend in a bar, they consumed alcohol over the course of the evening,” Mr Turnbull said.

“It was his friend who wanted to drive home. It was then he was foolish.

"He felt he was in the better state to drive than his friend, so drove his friend’s car.

"He accepts looking back now there was no way he was in a suitable condition.”

Mr Turnbull said it was a “perverse” decision he was mortified and embarrassed about.

He said Badger, of Napleton Lane, Kempsey, was a cricket coach in his spare time and had nearly completed a building surveyor degree.

“He has employment lined up as a building surveyor - he is not sure whether that employment will still be available to him,” Mr Turnbull added.

Sentencing Badger chairman of the magistrates bench, Kevin Lloyd-Wright, said the aggravating factors in the case were the 74mcg reading, which was not in the lowest bracket, that there was unacceptable driving that night and there was a passenger.

Magistrates banned Badger from driving for 20 months, but did offer him the chance to take the drink drive awareness course that, if completed successfully, will reduce the ban.

Badger was also fined £120, costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £34.

Magistrates accepted he could pay the total, £289, at a rate of £5 per week.