Giggling drink driver banned
A DRUNK driver who giggled with shock when stopped by police after an accident is today banned from driving. Jonathan Hay, of Limekiln Close, Claydon, was more than three times the legal limit and may have passed out before the van he was driving ploughed into bollards and a parked car in Norwich Road, following a Saturday night drinking binge.
A DRUNK driver who giggled with shock when stopped by police after an accident is today banned from driving.
Jonathan Hay, of Limekiln Close, Claydon, was more than three times the legal limit and may have passed out before the van he was driving ploughed into bollards and a parked car in Norwich Road, following a Saturday night drinking binge.
Hay appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court for sentencing. He had already pleaded guilty to charges of driving without due care and attention and drink driving at an earlier hearing.
The court heard the 31-year-old was involved in a three-car accident at about 11.30pm on September 18 this year.
Prosecuting solicitor Gareth Davies told the court police arrived to find Hay still at the wheel.
He said: “A Nissan Navara van driven by Mr Hay had left the road, travelled down the paved walkway hitting bollards and a Mercedes car.
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“The impact pushed the Mercedes into another vehicle, a parked and occupied Vauxhall Vectra. The three vehicles cam to rest against a lamppost.”
The court heard that Hay told police at the scene 'I am probably miles over, I have had five or six pints'.
Mr Davies said Hay had been drinking at the Rose and Crown pub before he got into the Nissan to drive home.
He said: “He believes he may well have passed out behind the wheel. He put this down to a combination of drink and little to eat plus a problem with diabetes.”
Magistrates heard that Hay provided a breath test recorded at 107 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath-the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.
Mr Davies said no one was injured in the accident.
He added: “In interview he made the remarkable statement that he drinks and drives all the time and usually drives better after he has had a drink.”
Mitigating for Hay solicitor Helen Booth told the court her client was 'sensitive' and meant by his comment to police that he is more relaxed after taking a drink and able to deal with nervousness when driving.
Miss Booth told the court he client giggled with shock when police caught up with him at the scene but fully understood the seriousness of the incident.
She said: “He was very concerned he could have killed somebody.”
Miss Booth told the court the road had recently been resurfaced and there were no white lines at the time of the accident.
She said her client had already negotiated a roundabout where he stopped for what he believed to be a Ferrari. It turned out to be a modified Ford.
She said: “Mr Hay co-operated with police and regrets his actions. He said to me 'For the sake of £8 in a taxi I could have avoided causing so much damage'.”
The court also heard that Mr Hay, who works as a housekeeper, was suffering from the early stages of diabetes which may have contributed to his driving ability.
Hay was sentenced to a two-year community punishment and rehabilitation order to include 100 hours of unpaid work.
He was banned from driving for 30 months to be reduced to 24 months on competition of a drink driving rehabilitation course. He was also ordered to pay £55 costs. A further charge of driving without insurance was withdrawn.
Chairman of the bench Ted Draper said: “This was a very serious offence and we did consider custody as appropriate. However, we have taken into account your personal circumstances and previous good character.”