Jailed: Nelson man caught drink-driving for fourth time

Burnley Magistrates Court.
Burnley Magistrates Court.

A driver who was more than three times the limit when he sparked a police chase after being caught drink driving for the fourth time has been jailed.

Burnley magistrates heard how factory worker Arturas Andriukaitis (29) was 12 months into a five-year ban for excess alcohol when he struck again. The defendant, who was pulled from the car for his own safety, has already been to prison for getting behind the wheel over the limit.

Andriukaitis, who claims he drinks rarely and does not have an alcohol problem, had had eight cans of lager before his latest offence. He said his baby son had a fever and he had to go to the pharmacy.

Andriukaitis, who was also clocking up his third offence of banned driving, is now starting an 18-week jail term.

The defendant, of Pine Street, Nelson, admitted driving with excess alcohol, driving while disqualified and no insurance, in Netherfield Road, Nelson, on October 15th. Andriukaitis, who came to the UK for work in 2007, was banned for five years and was ordered to pay a £150 criminal courts charge and an £80 victim surcharge.

Mrs Alex Mann (prosecuting) said Andriukaitis was seen mounting the central traffic island in Scotland Road and bouncing back into the road.

Officers put on their sirens and lights and went directly behind him, but he still did not stop and a pursuit followed. The defendant was weaving from side to side and crossing the central white line. At the police station, he blew 108 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath – the legal limit is 35.

Mr Kamran Yousaf (defending) said Andriukaitis, a new father, realised there was a real possibility he could go to custody again.

“He tells me that the reason for him getting into the vehicle was that his child had a fever and he wanted to go to the pharmacy.”

Mr Yousaf said the defendant was co-operative with police when interviewed. Custody on the last occasion had “served no purpose.”

The solicitor urged the court to impose a suspended sentence, adding: “He knows if he commits another offence, the court will have no option but to send him to prison.”

Sentencing, the chairman of the bench told the defendant he had presented a great risk to other road users and pedestrians.