A man caught drunk driving on Christmas Day claimed to have been using his car’s headlights to try to find his lost cat.

Peter Champ, 43, was found to be more than three times over the drink drive limit after being arrested following a crash on Crostwick Lane in Spixworth.

Norwich Magistrates’ Court heard the IT worker later told police he had got behind the wheel despite having enjoyed a festive tipple because he was trying to find his missing cat, which had escaped during a visit to his mother's home.

READ MORE: 1,100 drivers stopped 123 arrested in Norfolk drink drive campaign

“He dotes on his cat; it is part of his family,” said James Burrows, for Champ.

“He had taken it in a basket to his mother’s but unfortunately during the course of Christmas morning it escaped. 

“He spent a large part of the day walking around trying to find it but then for whatever reason got into his car to use the headlights to search but was unfortunately involved in a low speed accident.”

Eastern Daily Press: Champ was found to be more than three times over the limitChamp was found to be more than three times over the limit (Image: Newsquest)

Rima Begum, prosecuting, said police had been called by a motorist who followed Champ after he had collided with the driver when he drove straight across a junction without stopping. 

READ MORE: Norfolk driver kills woman in Christmas crash after 10 pints

He subsequently blew 113mg during a drink drive breath test - the legal limit is 35.

Champ, of Norgate Road in Norwich, pleaded guilty to drink driving.

Mr Burrows said: “There is no reason to disbelieve him whatsoever. He is a man of exceptional remorse for his actions.”

His pet cat had been found unharmed 12 days later, he added. 

Magistrates disqualified him for 27 months due to the “very high reading” and told him he will have to be assessed by the DVLA whether he is fit to drive at the end of the ban.

After being told he was unfit for unpaid work they also fined him £883 and told him to pay costs totalling £435.