A DRINK-DRIVER has avoided a jail term, despite being caught for the third time behind the wheel while over the limit.

John Mercer was stopped by police in a Musselburgh street, where he was found to be nearly five times over the drink-drive limit.

Mercer, from Dalkeith, was found to have 107mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath when he was pulled over last June – the legal limit is 22mg in 100ml of breath.

Defence solicitor Nigel Bruce told Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday that Mercer, 51, turned to alcohol as he “reacts badly to pressure”.

Sheriff Adrian Cottam was also told this was the third time Mercer had been caught drink-driving.

Sheriff Cottam told Mercer he was being sentenced to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work and placed on 12 months of supervision as a direct alternative to custody.

Mercer was also banned from driving for the next 54 months during Monday’s hearing.

Mercer admitted to driving a vehicle with 107mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath at North High Street, Musselburgh, on June 23 last year.