Drink-driver banned after crashing on his way home from Christmas party

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A drink driver was arrested after driving towards home for less than 300ft from a Christmas party.

Anthony Turner had been to the staff party at his mother’s care home before getting into his Renault van, Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard.

“There was a collision,” said Catherine Hannah, prosecuting. “The other vehicle was a taxi, the driver of which described the van driving into him.

“Police were called and smelled intoxicating liquor on the breath of the defendant.”

The court heard Turner had a breath alcohol level of 91 microgrammes, more than twice the legal limit of 35. Turner, 50, of Sheriff Street, Hartlepool, admitted driving with excess alcohol on December 10.

Andrew Teate, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Turner waited at the scene, and was apologetic at the police station. He had been to an early Christmas party at his mother’s care home, where he had bucks fizz and a flavoured vodka drink. Mr Turner is not a big drinker, but he takes no issue with what’s happened and knew he shouldn’t have got into the van to drive.”

The court was told Turner lives 450ft from the care home.

Mr Teate added: “One is bound to ask why he did not walk.

“The answer is Mr Turner has a number of health problems, including difficulties with his feet which make it impossible for him to walk any distance.”

The magistrates banned Turner from driving for two years, and ordered him to pay £455 in fines and costs. The money will be deducted from Turner’s benefits.