Suspended jail sentence for drink-driving

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A drink-driver was more than three-and-a-half times the limit when he crashed into a front garden and then tried to smoke a lighter, mistaking it for a cigarette.

Edward Davis (23), of Station Street, Donington, had 127 microgrammes of alcohol in breath – 92mcgs above the limit – when he crashed a Peugeot 307 in the village’s Badgate Lane shortly before 1am on New Year’s Day.

He would quite clearly be a vulnerable person in a prison environment.

Solicitor Phillipa Chatterton

Boston magistrates on Wednesday heard that Davis has anxiety and depression, and had turned to alcohol as a crutch to help him cope.

Magistrates sentenced Davis to 15 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, and banned him from driving for four years.

As part of the suspended sentence order, Davis must be supervised by probation for 12 months and undertake a non-residential alcohol treatment order over six months.

Davis must also pay £85 towards prosecution costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

He pleaded guilty at a hearing on February 18 to driving with excess alcohol, driving without insurance and driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence.

At the resumed hearing, magistrates imposed no separate penalties for the insurance and licence offences.

Marie Stace, prosecuting, said Davis appeared “very drunk” at the scene of the crash, was barely able to stand and mistook a cigarette lighter for a cigarette and was trying to smoke it.

Solicitor Phillipa Chatterton, mitigating, said Davis suffers from anxiety and depression, and there were times in the past when he had asked to be sectioned.

She said Davis had tended to self-medicate with alcohol because it helped him.

Miss Chatterton said Davis went to Steps2Change, where he saw a psychologist and was advised he needed further treatment and help through cognitive behaviour therapy.

She said he has new medication and, at the moment, feels stable and is not turning to alcohol as a crutch.

“Clearly he is a young man who needs help,” she told the court.

Miss Chatterton asked magistrates not to send Davis to prison, telling them: “He would quite clearly be a vulnerable person in a prison environment.”