A FATHER who was enjoying a romantic evening with his girlfriend in the Lake District has been sentenced after he was caught drink driving.

Joshua James, 33, was stopped by road traffic officers on the A591 near Staveley on February 16 this year due to damage to his car, South Cumbria Magistrates Court heard.

Prosecutor Peter Kelly said James was in the vehicle with his partner, who were both originally arrested on suspicion of drink driving, as neither admitted to being the driver.

However Mr Kelly said the defendant confessed in police interview and was fully co-operative when asked to provide a sample of breath.

The court heard James, of Burgh Lane in Chorley, blew a lowest reading of 78 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

James, who chose not to be legally represented, told magistrates he ‘massively regretted’ his actions.

He said: “I reversed off a high curb and it lifted my bumper off. This was my Valentine’s Day night with my partner. I have got three kids and my own company with two employees. We do not drink often, I do apologise.”

The court heard James had previously been convicted of a similar drink driving offence in August 2020 where he was disqualified from driving for 17 months.

Chair of the bench Gillian Seddon disqualified the defendant from driving for 40 months and described the incident as a ‘complete disaster’.

She added: “This was not quite the romantic date you had intended.”

James was also ordered to complete 60 hours of unpaid work, pay £85 in court costs, as well as a £114 surcharge.