Bloke loses £900-a-week scaffolding job for drinking Stella in work van

A scaffolder was caught drinking a can of Stella whilst sat in his work van and has lost his job for the "stupid" move.

Michael Harrison from Whitchurch had his £900-a-week job stripped away and has also landed himself a hefty driving ban over the incident.

The 30-year-old pleaded guilty to drink driving, and told the court he was "just being stupid" during the hearing at Bristol's Magistrates Court, reports the Bristol Post.

The incident, which happened on September 18, 2020, saw Harrison driving home from work in the white Nissan van, when he was caught by police with booze in his hand.

They stopped him on Lampton Avenue, Hartcliffe, where he was breathalysed.

Prosecutor Caitlin Brown told Bristol Magistrates’ Court yesterday (January 21): “ Police followed the vehicle for a short time.

“The defendant was in the driver’s seat, drinking from an open can of Stella. He said he had drunk half a can.”

Harrison pleaded guilty to driving with 71mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – more than double the limit, 35mcg.

District Judge Joanna Dickens asked the self-represented defendant: “Do you want to tell me what happened?”

Harrison replied: “Nah. Just being stupid, weren’t I?”

Asked for more detail, he said: “I was on my way back from work.”

When Judge Dickens asked how much he earns, the defendant said: “£180 a day.”

The judge remarked: “That’s almost £1,000 a week. That’s good money isn’t it? Is that before or after tax?”

Harrison told Judge Dickens this was the figure before tax. She asked if his employer deducted tax before paying him, to which he said: “Yeah, yeah.”

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“So what do they pay you?” asked the judge.

“600 and something, but I’m losing my job over this anyway,” said Harrison.

"I need to drive for the job. I pick people up and take them to work. I have a team working under me. Well, had.”

Asked what he plans to do now, Harrison replied: “I’ll find some local scaffolding work. There are loads of firms close by where I live.”

Imposing a 19-month driving ban, Judge Dickens described the offence as “really serious”.

She said: “You were going at twice the legal limit. You were also drinking, it turns out, when you were actually driving. That makes it even more serious.”

Harrison must pay a £1,050 fine, £105 victim surcharge and £85 in prosecution costs. If he completes a rehabilitation course, his ban will be reduced by a quarter.

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