A FORMER police officer drove erratically while over the drink driver limit, almost crashing into oncoming traffic, a court heard.

Lucian Moise, representing himself, told Colchester Magistrates’ Court he was “extremely distressed” at the time having received news of a death in the family.

He said he had drunk two bottles of Budweiser when a witness reported his concerning driving from Highwoods to Prettygate, to police.

Moise, 39, of Prettygate Road, Colchester, admitted driving while over the limit with an alcohol reading of 57 mcg in 100 ml of breath. The legal limit is 35 mcg.

Moise said: “I was extremely distressed at the time.

“I couldn’t stay by myself in the flat so I went to my friend’s house in Prettygate.

“I’ve made a big mistake to drive like that.

“I was an police officer for ten years so I know the law.”

It was 5.40pm on December 1 last year a witness followed Moise to his home before calling police.

Natalie Anforth, prosecuting, said the driver saw Moise hit a kerb and was swerving from side to side.

She said: “His driving then became more erratic - speeding up and slowing down and he veered on the same side of the road, narrowly missing oncoming traffic.

“He almost hit a parked lorry in a layby.”

Moise admitted to police he was “smashed” and claimed he was swerving to avoid potholes.

Magistrates fined him £426 in total and issued a 15-month driving ban.