A solicitor banned from the road for drink-driving after visiting a police station has attacked officers for failing to advise him not to take the wheel.

Adrian Carter, 50, a partner in Cooper Carter Claremont, in Eastbourne and Hailsham, was arrested by police in the early hours shortly after leaving Eastbourne police station where he had been representing a client.

After sitting in on an interview with the client, Mr Carter left to drive home at about 4am and was stopped at The Goffs.

He was given a breath test and found to have 56 microgrammes of alcohol in his breath. The legal limit is 35mg.

Mr Carter, of Willingdon Road, Eastbourne, pleaded guilty at Brighton Magistrates Court on Wednesday to driving with excess alcohol. He was given a one-year ban, fined £400 and ordered to pay £55 costs.

But the solicitor, with 25 years experience in police work, is angry police said nothing to him before he left the station last Saturday and did not suggest he was unfit to drive.

He told The Argus: "I was called out at 2am. I chose to drive, having not had much to drink and a couple of hours' sleep.

"I made an error of judgement but I carried out the interview in the correct professional way.

"They followed me two or three hundred yards as I left to go home.

"It was not just a plain straightforward stop for bad driving or as a result of an accident, it was after I had done my professional duty. I am fairly aggrieved.

"The police had the opportunity to prevent crime. They could have asked me if I thought I should have got a taxi or offered me a lift."

Mr Carter said he had attended the station as a matter of urgency as police told him his client was about to be interviewed but was forced to wait for more than an hour.

He continued: "I had seen the client earlier in the evening and the police and I had agreed he was not fit to be interviewed. I left on the understanding that he would not be interviewed until the morning.

"I was woken up at 2am and had very little time. If I had more time I may have made a better and more rational decision. But I am not making any excuses for drink-driving. I did break the law and it is unacceptable."

Mr Carter had been at home drinking and playing bridge with his family the evening before he was called to the station.

The conviction has worried other solicitors, said Mr Carter.

He explained: "The view that some of the legal profession in Eastbourne I have talked to are taking is that all the solicitors that regularly go to the police station on duty or are called out by clients are pretty concerned now that this sort of thing could happen to them."

Police insisted they were not aware Mr Carter had been drinking that evening.

A spokesman said: "We had no reason to suspect, when he was in the police station, he had been drinking.

"Had we suspected we would have dealt with him earlier, thereby preventing him from driving."