Chinley drink-driver banned after railway bridge crash

High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.
High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.

A Chinley motorist who crashed into a railway bridge while drunk has been banned from the road for 20 months.

High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard how police had been called to the scene of an accident at Brierley Green in Buxworth at 6.50pm on December 20 last year.

They found a silver VW Golf had struck the stone railway bridge and was blocking half the carriageway, said John Cooper, prosecuting.

The driver, Martin Stephen Barber, 28, suffered minor injuries in the accident and was taken to hospital, after providing a roadside breath test which gave a reading of 110.

Mr Cooper said as the hospital was so busy it was not possible for any form of test to be carried out. When he was eventually put on the intoxilyser machine at the police station, more than four hours after the crash, Barber was found to still be almost twice the legal limit. He provided a reading of 65 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, the legal limit is 35.

Barber, of Portland Grove, Chinley, admitted a charge of drink-driving when he appeared before magistrates.

Kirsten Collings, defending, said the hardworking father-of-one, a quarry maintenance fitter, had been on his work’s Christmas party the day before and had returned home at 5am.

“He had gone out the following evening and you have seen the reading,” she explained.

“This defendant does appreciate the risk he posed to himself and other road users.”

She urged magistrates to consider imposing the highest level of fine rather than looking at imposing a community order.

“A financial penalty will hit him hard... and in my submission would may well meet the justice of this case.”

Barber was banned from the road for 20 months – but was given the option of reducing the ban by completing a drink-driver rehabilitation course.

He was fined £800 and must pay £85 costs and an £80 surcharge.