A MAN accused of drink-driving near Amesbury claimed in court he tested positive for alcohol because he had been siphoning diesel with his mouth.

Anthony Sheppard, 54, of Stuart Close, Trowbridge, denied driving while over the legal alcohol limit at Salisbury Magistrates Court on Friday (sep1).

Prosecuting, Kate Prince said police were tipped off that Mr Sheppard, who was driving a white van on the A303, may have consumed alcohol at about 2pm on August 12.

Ms Prince said Mr Sheppard had been called out to assist a lorry that had broken down on the road and officers arrived in time to see him pull up in his van.

Mr Sheppard was given a roadside breath test, then taken to the police station and breathalysed, giving a reading of 55mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

Defending, Kevin Marland said it was a "morning after" drink-driving allegation.

He said Mr Sheppard had had four or five pints of lager the night before, and had received a call about a breakdown at 1pm the next day.

Before leaving, Mr Sheppard "siphoned off some diesel by mouth to take with him" and "it appeared he had ingested some diesel particles" in the process, Mr Marland said.

He said there was "no suggestion" from police that Mr Sheppard had been "swaying or slurring his words".

Mr Marland said: "I'm no expert, but it would appear that (ingesting diesel) could cause a reflux or regurgitation."

Mr Sheppard is due to appear for trial at Chippenham Magistrates Court on November 22.