A man caught driving more than four times over the drink drive limit has narrowly avoided being sent to jail.
Terence Kenny (55) of Lyme Walk, Peterborough, was caught driving his Citroen Picasso outside his home on April 4 after being reported by ambulance drivers.
Police found Kenny - a toxicologist - reversing into bins. He was arrested, and gave a breathiliser reading of 157mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath - thought to be one of the highest readings ever in Cambridgeshire.
He appeared at Peterborough Magistrates' Court on Friday, where he admitted drink driving.
Deputy District Judge Richard Marshall said he had thought hard about whether he could suspend a jail term, or whether it would be an immediate prison sentence, after saying the case had passed the custody threshold.
However, he said he was just persuaded to suspend the sentence, after hearing of health problems Kenny suffered from.
He was given an 18 week jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, banned from driving for three years and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
Philip Botterill, prosecuting, told the court: "On April 4 the defendant was found at the side of the road in a ditch. An ambulance was called and he was taken to hospital.
"A short while later police received a call from the ambulance service to inform them the defendant was intoxicated and now driving, after he took a taxi to his car.
"Police arrived at his home and he was found reversing down the road, and hit several bins."
The probation service carried out a report on Kenny, where he admitted he had been caught drink driving 30 years previously.
Oliver Barrett, defending, told the court Kenny had been going through a stressful time. He said: "Certain factors lead to the incident. He was feeling very low after tests by a neurologist last year indicated early onset dementia.
"He was suffering muscle tremors and confusion, and he was very scared.
"He recalls feeling very depressed and purchased a bottle of wine."
Mr Barrett added: "This is an isolated incident, and he is actively seeking help.
"He is deeply ashamed he has committed this offence."
Along with the suspended sentence, unpaid work and driving ban, Kenny was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.