Crashed into barrier after drinking vodka

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

A motorist who crashed his car into a barrier after drinking ten vodkas didn’t even have a full driving licence, a court heard.

Police on duty just before midnight on April 5 came across some debris in Little Hayfield at the side of the road, consisting of a car bumper and a light cluster, High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard.

From the bumper they were able to use the registration plate to trace the owner and shortly afterwards, they received a message from another officer to say they had seen a red Ford Fiesta without lights or a bumper driving through Chinley towards Glossop.

The vehicle was located parked at the side of the road in Hayfield and officers went to speak to the driver, Stuart William Sutherland, prosecutor Jennifer Fitzgerald said. He told them his car had ‘died’ because he had crashed and when asked, admitted he had been drinking. He failed a roadside breath test so was arrested and at the police station, provided a reading of 85, the legal limit is 35.

In interview, Sutherland said he had been to his sister’s address in Gee Cross, near Hyde, with his girlfriend and two sons at about 4pm. While there he consumed ten single vodkas and then got in his car and drove to New Mills. On the way, he crashed into a barrier and realised he had crashed because of the impact, but he carried on driving and didn’t inspect his vehicle until he reached New Mills, where he went to buy heroin.

After leaving that address, he got back in the car, intending to drive back to his sister’s house but the car stopped.

The 32-year-old, of New Road, Tintwistle, admitted drink-driving, failing to stop after an accident, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and using a motor vehicle without insurance.

Lisa Tinsley, defending, said: “He had gone to his sister’s address with his girlfriend, his 13-year-old son and his 15-month-old son.

He had no intention to drive because his girlfriend drove them there and ordinarily they would stay over, but during the course of the evening he and his girlfriend began arguing. He decided to remove himself and unfortunately took the decision to drive.

“There is mention of him going to an address to buy heroin but there is no evidence of him taking heroin and no heroin was found on him. He was extremely honest with the police and told them it was not something he would usually take, but on this occasion because of a number of factors he went to go and buy some.”

Sutherland was due to be sentenced (yesterday) Wednesday.