Drink driver crashed after six pints of lager

Mary HamiltonA man who took his mum's car without permission and crashed it in a field after drinking six pints of Fosters was disqualified from driving for three and a half years yesterday.Mary Hamilton

A man who took his mum's car without permission and crashed it in a field after drinking six pints of Fosters was disqualified from driving for three and a half years yesterday.

Cromer magistrates were told how Shaun Meekings, 26, was spotted at 2.50am on October 31 buying cigarettes with a friend at Roughton petrol station, where both appeared to be drunk.

Fergus Harald, prosecuting, said police were alerted when the pair left in a green Volkswagen Polo, which was later seen going at speed down the A140 towards Aylsham by Sgt Gordon, who had been looking out for the car.

The Polo turned off along Tuttington Road and when Sgt Gordon caught up to the car he found it on its side in a field with Meekings' friend trying to escape through the sunroof, said Mr Harald.


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'There was an area search to look for Meekings, and PC Baker saw him walking along the A140 without any shoes on.

'When he approached him Meekings made full admissions, saying things like, 'I nearly killed us, I'm so lucky he didn't get hurt. My mum's going to kill me.''

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He readily admitted driving the car after drinking about six pints of Fosters, and his breath alcohol level was found to be more than twice the legal limit. He registered 71 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath when the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Mr Harald added: 'When he was interviewed it was established that the owner of the Volkswagen was Meekings' mother, and she had not given him any permission to use it.'

Mitigating, Alastair Taunton said Meekings had taken the car for an urgent visit to his girlfriend in Cromer to try to sort out their relationship problems.

'He couldn't find any way of getting there,' he said. 'Mum would probably have said yes but she wasn't around.'

He added that Meekings had gone out with a friend and lost track of time and alcohol consumption while chatting about his relationship, and that he was very contrite.

Sentencing, chairman of the bench Jim Dinnes said: 'This was intentional, and it was a serious risk to other road users. The purpose of this sentence is to punish.'

Meekings, of Cawston Road, Brandiston, near Aylsham, pleaded guilty to drink driving, taking and damaging a vehicle, and driving without insurance. He was disqualified from driving for 42 months, ordered to complete 200 hours unpaid work and to pay costs of �85.

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