A senior firefighter responsible for a military base was caught drink driving after ‘throwing beer cans out of the car window’.

Simon Byers was stopped by police in Shrewton at around 5.15pm on August 7 this year.

Concerned witnesses called 999 to report the 54-year-old's 'erratic' driving and 'disposal of beer cans via the car window'.

Officers caught up with him a short time later and he failed the roadside breathalyser.

Prosecutor Kate Prince told Salisbury Magistrates’ Court on Friday (September 1) that Byers provided a reading of 83 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath in custody – where the limit is 35 microgrammes.

Barry Culshaw, defending, said his client was driving to help his wife after she encountered problems with her own car but didn’t take into account that he had been drinking earlier in the day.

He said that Byers, of Osmund Walk, Old Sarum, works for QinetiQ as a Watch Manager – effectively a senior firefighter with management responsibilities – at MOD Boscombe Down.

Mr Culshaw also spoke about the defendant’s role as a lecturer at Weston College, where he trains apprentice firefighters.

He said the Byers was under a lot of “stress and pressure” and has since sought medical advice, and is abstinent of alcohol.

He said he won’t lose his job at Boscombe Down as a result of his conviction and will make the seven-mile commute by bicycle.

His colleague, Watch Manager Ian Abbott, provided a glowing character reference to the court. He described him as “extremely valued” member of the team.

Magistrates imposed an 18-month driving ban and fined him £781.

He must also pay £85 prosecution costs and a £312 surcharge.