A SKIPTON man drank a bottle of vodka and took sleeping tablets before going out for a drive, heard Skipton Magistrates Court.

Jacek Kobylecki, 45, drove his BMW VRM into a Skoda which was parked in the same road where he lived, Hurrs Road, the court heard on Friday. It's owner was inside the vehicle, at around 7pm on January 6,  clearing the condensation off the windscreen when he felt the collision.

Kobylecki initially drove off, but returned shortly later and was talking to the owner of the Skoda when police, responding to a report of a road traffic collision turned up.

Officers, noting Kobylecki smelt of alcohol carried out a road side breath test which was positive. He was arrested and taken to Harrogate police station where he was found to have 96 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

In an interview with police he said he had drunk a bottle of vodka the night before had also taken sleeping tablets before deciding to go out for a drive, but he could not remember of he had taken the tablets before or after he had drunk the alcohol.

Kobylecki, of previous good character, admitted drink driving.

In mitigation, Julian White said Kobylecki was staying with his uncle in Skipton following an acrimonious divorce and the loss of his business and home.

Kobylecki had been 'solace drinking' and was also struggling to sleep, said Mr White.

"It was a very unfortunate set of circumstances which has led him to court for the first time in his life," said Mr White.

Probation officer Andrew Watson said Kobylecki had been married for 17 years and had three children. He was clearly drinking as a way of managing what was going on in his life He said Kobylecki had a poor knowledge of alcohol and legal limits but was remorseful and realised the risk he had put himself and other road users. He was now in a better position and was trying to get his life in order.

Magistrates sentenced Kobylecki to a 12 month community order with 100 hours unpaid work and up to 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days. He has been banned from driving for 24 months and ordered to pay costs of £85 and a surcharge of £114. If he completes a drink-drivers rehabilitation course, his ban will be reduced by 24 weeks.