A DRINK driver has received a four-year disqualification after being convicted of the offence for the third time.

John Powell, 46, was more than three times the legal drink drive limit when he was said to have “blacked out” while behind the wheel on September 2.

He was stopped by a concerned member of the public, who had seen his erratic driving on the B4392 near Arddleen that morning.

Powell – employed at a tree nursery at the time – said he remembered going to work that morning and remembered going on break with a colleague at 10am, but had then blacked out. He woke up behind the wheel of his Hyundai Getz at traffic lights at 11.40am – with Welshpool Magistrates Court this week hearing the defendant accepts he must have consumed alcohol the previous night or possibly that morning.

He admitted drink driving at the hearing on Tuesday, September 28. The reading Powell provided to arresting officers at the roadside was 113 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than three times the prescribed limit of 35mcgs. It was Powell’s third drink driving offence – having also been convicted in 2008 and 2016.

Prosecutor Helen Tench said the witness saw the defendant driving and crossing onto the other side of the road. “The witness was flashing their lights and sounding their horn at him, but the defendant didn’t stop,” said Ms Tench.

“Later, when stopped at traffic lights, the defendant nearly drove into the back of a bus. The witness managed to get in-between the defendant’s car and the lights so he couldn’t move and took the keys out of the ignition.

“He was on site, he doesn’t remember being in the car or walking off site. And he told police he has had blackouts before. It’s a very high reading and his third drink drive conviction.”

The police were called and in interview Powell confirmed the vehicle was his and that he had been driving.

Acting for Powell, of Croeswylan Lane, Oswestry, Owain Jones said: “In mitigation I can only really offer the fact that he is genuinely remorseful."

Chair of the bench, Rebecca Klug, told Powell: “It is very disappointing that you’re here again for a third time on a drink driving charge. Even more serious is the fact you were three times the limit. This is very disturbing.”

In addition to banning Powell from the road for 48 months, he was handed a 12-month community order, which will include 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days. Powell must also be fitted with an alcohol abstinence monitor for 56 days.

Magistrates did not offer Powell another drink drive course, telling him: “We feel you’ve had it before and yet we still see you here today.”

He must also pay £85 costs and a £95 surcharge.