A retired hospital cardiologist has been banned from driving by Skipton magistrates after being caught at almost twice the limit.

David Miles, 77, was reported to police after he was helped to his feet in a Skipton car park by a woman, who then noticed he smelled of alcohol.

Miles, who suffered from drop syndrome, drove home to Meadowcroft, Draughton, where he drank a few gins, the court heard on Friday.

The police, who traced him to his home address, breathalysed him and took him to the police station where he was found to have 101 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. A back calculation estimated that at the time of driving, he would have had 66 microgrammes in his breath, the legal limit is 35.

Miles, who admitted drink-driving on December 9, was a keen player of the French Horn and had been in Skipton practising with a fellow musician, the court was told.

In mitigation, John Mewies said Miles had accepted a pre-Christmas drink from his friend before walking back to his car.

Mr Mewies said his client’s fall had nothing to do with the alcohol, but drop syndrome, which meant he was prone to unexpected collapses. He said the syndrome was self diagnosed, there was no treatment and that on his return home he had had a large drink to settle his nerves.

The court heard Miles had devoted his life to the health service and after retiring from Airedale Hospital in 1994 had returned as a locum, which he had continued to do until December.

Magistrates fined him £780 and banned him from driving for 18 months. He was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victims surcharge of £78.

If he completes a drink drivers rehabilitation course by March 3 next year, his ban will be reduced by 18 weeks.