A TREE surgeon seen driving "erratically" in the Penrith area was over the drink-drive limit.

Callum Stigant, 30, was breathalysed after police saw his Vauxhall Insignia on Stagstone Road near Beacon Edge on October 31, Carlisle's Rickergate Magistrates' Court heard.

A breath-test showed had 40mcg of alcohol in 100mls of breath.

The legal limit for driving is 35mcg.

Defence lawyer Gwyn Lewis said the reading was the lowest for a drink driving offence to be brought to court.

Stigant, of Hyde Park, Edenhall, Penrith, believed he had left sufficient time between his last drink before driving, he said.

Mr Lewis added that a driving licence was necessary for the defendant's job and the inevitable ban would make his life in such a rural area difficult.

Magistrates imposed a 36-month ban and a fine of £135 as well as prosecution costs of £85 and a £34 victim surcharge. The defendant can not take a drink-driver rehabilitation course because he has previous drink-related offences on his record.