A shop manager who was caught drink driving by an off-duty police officer after he relieved himself has been banned from the road.

The officer saw Arnold McGonigle, 26, behind the wheel of a silver Peugeot 206 on Melford Road in Stowmarket on May 26, Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard.

McGonigle parked the car before getting out of the vehicle and proceeding to urinate, Wayne Ablett, prosecuting, told the court.

The officer could smell alcohol on his breath, and therefore contacted a uniformed colleague, Mr Ablett said.

A roadside breath test was positive and McGonigle was subject to a search, and three small bags of white powder were located in his wallet, the court heard.

In custody, McGonigle blew 62 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg in 100ml of breath.

The white powder was analysed and confirmed to be cocaine, and it was discovered the car did not have a valid MOT certificate.

McGonigle made full admissions in police interview, and said he had bought the cocaine for £160 for personal use, and accepted drinking alcohol prior to driving.

McGonigle, of Melford Road, Stowmarket, had no previous convictions, the court heard.

He pleaded guilty to drink-driving, possessing cocaine and driving without a valid test certificate before magistrates on Tuesday.

Mark Holt, mitigating, said McGonigle cooperated fully with the off-duty officer and uniformed officer.

Mr Holt said McGonigle had consumed some alcohol with a meal between 4pm and 11.45pm, and naively thought the alcohol had passed through his system.

"He genuinely thought he was okay to drive," Mr Holt said.

McGonigle said at the time he occasionally used cocaine at weekends and since the incident, he has not used the drug or consumed alcohol, Mr Holt added.

Magistrates banned McGonigle from driving for 17 months and fined him a total of £552.

He was also ordered to pay court costs of £145 and a victim surcharge of £55.

McGonigle was offered the opportunity to take a drink-driving rehabilitation course by magistrates, which will reduce his ban by 17 weeks if completed.