A MAN who was persuaded to have drinks when picking up a friend, taking him over the limit, was banned for 17 months this week.

Bogdan Sumanaru, a Romanian national, formerly of Wem but now lives in Telford, was stopped by West Mercia Police in Ellesmere Road on December 15 last year.

He was breathalysed at the road side and was found to be twice over the drink-drive limit.

Mr Sumanaru told Telford Magistrates that he had been called to pick up a friend, travelling from his previous address in Leek Street, Wem, as they could not get a taxi.

He stayed and drank some beers and wine before driving back.

He pleaded guilty and was fined £350, reduced from £530 for an early plea and also agreed to participate in a drink-driving rehabilitation course which could lead to his sentence being reduced by five months.

Speaking through an interpreter, Mr Sumanaru also apologised for his behaviour.