A 62-year-old Bonllwyn man has told magistrates he had no idea he was over the drink-drive limit despite downing wine before he got in his car for a 3pm shopping trip in Ammanford town centre.

Anthony Allan Powell, of 21 River Way, admitted he was more than twice the legal limit when stopped by police near the Tesco superstore on March 29.

Powell claimed he had been drinking wine earlier in the day but failed to measure the quantities he had drunk.

Vaughan Prichard Jones told Llanelli court how police stopped Powell in his Ford Fiesta on Pontaman Road a short time after he had left the store.

“He had clearly had a drink,” Mr Prichard Jones told the court.

Tests showed Powell had 76 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Gary Jones, defending, said Powell had driven only a relatively short distance.

“This is an offence that should not have been committed,” said Mr Jones.

“During his time at home that morning he had consumed some wine but he did not measure it so he was not sure how much he had had.

“He never intended to drive over the limit, but he was unaware how much he had drunk.

“He was driving only locally and without any necessity believing he was OK to do so.”

Mr Jones said Powell had left home and driven to Tesco, where he did his shopping, and then got back in the car to drive home again.

“The officers who stopped him did not refer to erratic driving, there was no collision or any problem with any aspect of his driving,” said Mr Jones.

“The police had received information that he had been drinking and because they were already close by, they stopped him.

“He was fully co-operative with the police.”

Powell, the court was told, had held a clean driving licence for more than 30 years prior to committing the offence.

“This is wholly out of character,” said Mr Jones.

“It is difficult to explain what happened other than to say it was purely a misjudgement on his part.”

Magistrates banned Powell from driving for 18 months and fined him £400.

He was also ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £40 legal surcharge.