COURT: ‘Lock me up, I’m drunk,’ van driver tells officers

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

A drunk motorist is serving a 24-month driving ban after being caught behind the wheel while nearly three times the legal alcohol limit.

Thomas James Stevenson’s Citroen Berlingo was discovered embedded into the side of a Vauxhall Zafira following an accident on Market Street in Whaley Bridge on November 1.

High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard how, after attending a party the night before, the 27-year-old had continued drinking the following day with friends, before deciding to drive home. Later, at around 5.30pm, police were called to Market Street.

Jennifer Fitzgerald, prosecuting, said: “This defendant’s van was described as being embedded into the side of the Zafira and both vehicles were extensively damaged.”

No-one was injured in the collision, but Ms Fitzgerald added: “The defendant approached police, offering his outstretched hand and told them to ‘lock me up as I’m drunk’.”

Stevenson, of Flatts Lane, Kettleshulme, failed a roadside breath test, and later at the police station provided a reading in breath of 101 - the legal limit is 35.

The court heard Stevenson had attended a party on the evening of October 31, leaving his car parked nearby. He drank a lot at the party and stayed over, before drinking more the following morning and consuming two or three pints with friends at a pub.

Richard Carlin, defending, said: “It was his intention to get a taxi, but he was unable to get one so made the stupid mistake and tried to risk it and drive the three miles home.”

He said Stevenson, an electrician, who had never been before the court before, would retain his employment, but the loss of his licence would mean he would be carrying out a different role with a possible reduction in pay.

Magistrates sentenced Stevenson to a two-month curfew between the hours of 7pm and 6am.

He was disqualified from driving for 24 months, but given the option of reducing the ban by completing a drink-driver rehabilitation course.

He must also pay court costs and a surcharge totalling £295.