Earlier, the doctor – who ran a medical practice in Hartlepool, in Co Durham, and was also director of Hartlepool and District Hospice – had been seen driving erratically along busy main roads during his 22-mile commute home.He was seen braking and speeding up for no apparent reason and “swerving across the road narrowly missing other vehicles”.Another driver followed the GP home due to concerns over his driving and called police while Peverley parked his car on the driveway of his £500,000 house in Nunthorpe, near Middlesbrough. The doctor was later given a suspended jail term and a three-year driving ban.At the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, Peverley – who has not worked since his arrest – admitted misconduct charges but escaped with a six-month suspension after claiming he was suffering from “accumulated stress caused by professional and financial problems”. He will undergo a review in June where it is expected he will ask to be allowed to treat patients again.Much of the Manchester hearing was held in private after lawyers for Peverley argued there was “no particular public interest in his financial arrangements”. The drink driving incident occurred at 6.50pm on April 15 last year after the GP bought a 70cl bottle of vodka during his lunch break and then had two doubles before consulting patients.He drank three-quarters of the bottle while completing paperwork before driving home.Peverley was breathalysed at the police station where the lowest reading was 153 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mg. Later that month, he admitted drink-driving at Teeside magistrates’ court and was banned from driving for 36 months, given an eight-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay £115 charges and £85 costs.The GP voluntarily referred himself to the GMC for a disciplinary hearing. A GP who drove home after drinking almost an entire bottle of vodka at his surgery has been allowed to keep his job after medical watchdogs heard he was stressed at looking after 3,500 patients.Dr Martin Peverley, 51, had been drinking doubles in between treating patients and completing paperwork and was so drunk that police had to carry him to their patrol car when they confronted him outside his home.The family doctor, who was four times the drink-drive limit, could barely speak when officers tried to talk to him following his 50-minute journey home and he was too intoxicated to get out of the driver’s seat, a hearing was told.As officers attempted to remove him from his car, Peverley fell to the ground then had to be lifted into the police vehicle and taken to the station where he was ordered to take a breath test. Peverley’s lawyer Jonathan Holl-Allen said his client had been under “significant professional pressure” because for two years he had undertaken sole responsibility for the medical practice – which has 3,500 patients – following the retirement of the other GP partner.He said the GP, who qualified in 1990 and joined the surgery in 2005, was also under “financial pressures” because a misunderstanding over funding from NHS England led to the practice incurring considerable debts in fees for locum doctors.Apologising for his drink-driving, Peverley himself admitted making a “very serious error of judgement, but said his actions were out of character and occurred against a background of “accumulating stress, caused by professional and financial problems, which had come to a head.” He said he had taken “steps” to deal with his bouts of stress and his wife was standing by him. Tribunal chairman Sean Ell told Peverley: “The actions which led to your conviction were very serious, and had the potential to cause harm to members of the public, but the tribunal did not have any direct allegation of you having caused harm to your patients.”The tribunal noted that you were under significant professional pressure at the time of the incident, having been solely responsible, following the retirement of your GP partner, for 3,500 patients at your surgery for over two years without consistent support from a permanent second GP.”It is clear that on the day of your arrest that you displayed an extreme and concerning reaction to the pressures upon you, consuming a significant amount of alcohol in a short period of time whilst at your workplace, and then driving home with the obvious potential to cause serious harm to the public.” Dr Martin Peverley leaving his hearing at the General Medical Council in ManchesterCredit:Pat Isaacs/Cavendish You were under significant professional pressure… having been solely responsible, following the retirement of your GP partner, for 3,500 patients at your surgerytribunal chairman Sean Ell Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.