A drink-driver stole a GOLF BUGGY from a masquerade ball and drove it 20 miles before being pulled over by police at a McDonalds when he stopped for a drive-thru.
Sozzled Charlie Ibbetson, 23, was spotted by an off-duty policeman driving the cart with balloons and flashing lights attached at 5am on September 16.
Magistrates heard he told the officer he had needed the low-speed vehicle "to get home to bed."
Earlier in the night be had been at the ball with his partner at Whittlebury Hall, in Towcester, Northants.
Ibbetson found the buggy and began driving it around the hall's grounds after attaching 20 balloons to the back of it.
He drove down the long driveway - with a bottle of red wine on board - and turned left when he reached the end of the road and continued "in no particular direction".
After being pulled over Ibbetson was breathalysed and found to have 50 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.
On Monday (2/10) he pleaded guilty to drink-driving, driving without insurance and taking without consent.
Ibbetson was as ordered to pay a total of £648 in fines and disqualified from driving for 12 months at Northampton Magistrates' Court.
JPs heard he was stopped on the A45 near Weedon, Northants, as he was about to make his way from the McDonald's to his home in Daventry, Northants.
Police officers said he appeared drunk and described him as stumbling and slurring his words.
He told police officers "you don't need to interview me, I drove it 20 miles. Yes, I took it but I needed it to get home to bed."
Police did eventually interview Ibbetson, who admitted he had acted "foolishly and irrationally."
He told them he would have taken the golf buggy back as he had no intention of keeping it.
The court was told it had been Ibbetson's daughter's birthday a week before the incident and this had affected his mental state as he is not allowed to see her.
He had been invited to the masquerade ball by his partner who worked there and said he was drinking to help numb the pain and the loneliness he felt after missing his daughter's birthday.
Ibbetson said he accepted responsibility and the offence had ruined his future plans as he was due to start a new job which required him to have a driving licence.
His defence solicitor said he doubted his client would ever try such a thing again and that he had shown a level of immaturity associated with people of his age.
He said: "He had acted on impulse, fuelled by alcohol."