A leading member of the national road haulage industry has been banned from the roads after he admitted drink driving in North Yorkshire.

David Ward, 63, appeared before York Magistrates' Court after police found his Land Rover on its roof next to a country road at night.

His solicitor Lee-Anne Robins-Hicks said he had swerved to avoid a fox and had believed he was under the drink drive limit despite drinking two or three beers earlier.

At the time, he was a member of the trade association Road Haulage Association (RHA) council and had been one of its directors. He also runs a major road haulage business with 28 drivers, plus garage and office staff.

The court heard he has a yearly income of £30,000 in dividends plus earned income from his company.

Professional driver Ward, of New Road, Little Smeaton west of Selby, pleaded guilty to drink driving.

He resigned from the RHA council because of his arrest, said Mrs Robins-Hicks.

Magistrates initially fined Ward £50 but when the clerk to the court pointed out that someone on benefits would be fined more, they upped it to £80. They also ordered him to pay a £32 statutory surcharge and £85 prosecution costs.

They also disqualified him from driving for 12 months.

National magistrates’ sentencing guidelines state: “The court sets the amount of a fine after considering how serious the offence is and how much money the offender can pay based on their income.”

Lauren Fisher, prosecuting, said police were called out at 1am on May 28 to reports of a traffic incident in New Road, Little Smeaton.

They found Ward’s Land Rover had left the road and had “ended up on its roof”. It was empty.

They went to Ward’s home and arrested him after he told them he had had two or three beers. A test revealed he had 110 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80 milligrams.

Mrs Robins-Hicks said the drink driving was “very much out of character” for Ward.

A friend had driven him and others to clay pigeon shoot where he had had lunch and tea and a “moderate amount to drink”.

He had then been driven back to where he had left his vehicle and had believed he was under the limit because he had not drunk alcohol since the tea meal.

When he steered round the fox, his Land Rover had gone into a ditch.

Ward was a professional driver who drove haulage vehicles when necessary, but most of his driving was done as part of his management role.