Banned driver full of remorse

James Elliott
James Elliott
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A DRINK driver who has been banned from the roads by magistrates is today warning other motorists to refrain from boozing and getting behind the wheel “because it could ruin your life.”

James Elliott finished a day shift in his work as a mechanic for Hartlepool Borough Council and met up with an old pal and he ended up having a couple of drinks.

The pair then went their separate ways and 30-year-old Elliott got into his Fiat Punto and drove.

Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard that during the journey home he clipped a kerb and crashed the vehicle around 9.45pm.

As he walked the rest of the way home, police attended the crash scene and used the vehicle’s registration details to find out where he lived.

By this point Elliott had consumed another drink, a can of lager, and a police test at his home showed he was over the drink drive limit.

Forensic tests were carried out to calculate whether or not he would have been over the limit at the time he drove the car, and experts ruled that he would have had 68 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 milliltres of breath - making him almost twice over the legal limit. The threshold is 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

He pleaded guilty to drink driving on Friday, September 13, and chairman of the bench Christine Mulgrew disqualified him from the roads for 18 months.

She also fined him £230, ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £23 victim surcharge.

Now the former Brierton school pupil, of Church Street, is waiting to find out whether or not he is going to lose the job he loves.

Elliott, who has been suspended from work, said: “I bumped into an old mate after work who I hadn’t seen for ages.

“I know you’re allowed one pint but I ended up having a couple. I felt fine.

“I just want to warn people not to do it, don’t even have one drink, because even if you do feel fine this can happen. I regret it so much, I made a stupid mistake.

“It’s not just about being banned from driving, it’s the knock-on effect on the rest of your life. I might lose my job at the council where I’ve worked for four years.”

He added: “The only thing I’m grateful for is I didn’t hit anyone.

“This is bad enough, but if I’d hit someone or another car then I’d have that on my conscience too.”