Drink-driver crashed into signpost

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

An early hours drink-driver who crashed into a signpost abandoned his Kia Sportage but later admitted he had been at the wheel, a court heard.

Burnley Magistrates' Court was told Gareth Hargreaves, who was more than twice the limit after a night out in Colne, has never been in trouble before.

The lift engineer has only been working for his bosses for eight months and they were waiting until after the case to decide on his future. Hargreaves blew 86 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath when he was tested. The legal limit is 35.

The 27-year-old defendant, of Standroyd Road, Colne, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol on Keighley Road, Colne, on July 29th. He was banned for 20 months and fined £343, with £85 costs and a £33 victim surcharge.

Mr Andrew Robinson, prosecuting, said at 3-15am, police received information a vehicle had been in a collision and the driver was no longer at the scene.

An officer found the abandoned car with its air bag deployed. The defendant was eventually spoken to at home and confirmed he had been the driver. His breath smelled of alcohol and he said he had not had any drink since the incident. Hargreaves expressed remorse and said what he had done was wrong.

Mr Philip Turner, defending, told the court Hargreaves had gone out, anticipating having a pint, but was persuaded to have more. The solicitor continued: "He had turned down some drink. A friend offered him a shot and he declined."

The defendant had told his employers in Colne about the case. Mr Turner went on: "They will wait to see what his punishment is before making a decision on his future. He has only been there eight months and normally travels nationwide."