A MAN who was found asleep in the back seat of his car after a night out has been disqualified from driving for two years after failing to give police a breath test.

Craig Stephenson was arrested by police who found him in his Vauxhall Vectra in Duke Street, Darlington, in the early hours of December 22 after they noticed the car was parked with its rear door left wide open.

Stephenson, 25, of Turner Avenue, South Shields, was taken to Darlington Police Station but refused to give a specimen of breath or blood to check whether he had been drinking.

He appeared at Darlington Magistrates’ Court today (Tuesday) where he pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen of breath and to driving with no insurance and with no licence.

The court heard that Stephenson owned the car he was found in, although he had no licence or insurance, but that it had been driven to Darlington by a friend so the pair could go on a night out.

Alan Davison, prosecuting, said the friends were later separated and Stephenson drove the car to Duke Street where he went to sleep, leaving the key in the ignition.

Charlton Carr, mitigating, said Stephenson had "rather foolishly" moved the car to a quieter street after losing his friend but added: “He did not, at least, make an attempt to drive home to South Shields.”

Magistrates fined Stephenson £110 for failing to provide a specimen and he was disqualified from driving for 24 months for that offence.

He was also fined £110 for driving with no insurance and ordered to pay court costs of £80 and a £20 victim surcharge.