A PONTYPOOL drink driver whose car was missing a front tyre while he was driving nearly three times over the drink drive limit has been given a suspended sentence.

Ardian Totraku, aged 38, of Folly View Close in Penperlleni, previously pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving while above the alcohol limit at Newport Crown Court on May 28. He had been on bail for the two offences.

The same court heard earlier today how at around 1pm on February 16, Totraku, who is originally from Kosovo, had been on his way home from a friend’s house in Bristol.

He had drunk two pint-sized cups of coffee, which contained shots of vodka.

PC David Thomas had been on duty in a marked police vehicle at the Mamhilad roundabout in Pontypool on the day in question.

Witnessing Totraku driving his black Vauxhall Corsa, PC Thomas described him as “driving all over the place”.

There was no tyre on the front rear side of the vehicle and Totraku was driving on its alloy, which was level with the brake disc. He was cutting into the road’s surface and there were “sparks flying”.

Totraku went around the roundabout to the turn off to Little Mill and PC Thomas followed him, before turning on his siren and lights.

Totraku did not stop and continued down the A4042, so PC Thomas pulled in front of him before he finally came to a halt.

PC Thomas then removed the keys from the Corsa and described Totraku as being “extremely unsteady”, with slurred speech and the smell of alcohol on his breath.

Totraku failed his breath test at the scene and was arrested.

Another breath test was carried out at Newport Police Station, where it was found that Totraku had 91mg of alcohol in 100mg of breath - which was nearly three times over the legal limit of 35mg.

Totraku had one previous conviction for driving a vehicle without insurance and driving without a licence on July 10, 2001.

Defending, Andrew Twanlow said: “He accepts full responsibility and feels it was all a bad dream.

“He can’t believe he was so stupid.”

Summing up, Mr Recorder Peter Rouch QC said: “The condition of the vehicle was dangerous and it could have resulted in a serious accident.

“But, you may have been unaware of the extent of the alcohol in the coffee.”

Mr Rouch handed down an eight-month suspended sentence for the dangerous driving charge and a six-month suspended sentence for the drink driving charge, which will run concurrently. The overall eight-month sentence will be suspended for two years.

Totraku has also been disqualified from driving for three years.

He will have to attend a rehabilitation activity for 15 days and do 150 hours of unpaid work. Mr Rouch also ordered him to pay costs of £1,200 and a victim surcharge of £100.