Drunk learner driver caused ‘mayhem’

Police doing road side breathalyser test
Police doing road side breathalyser test

A drunk learner driver must do 120 hours unpaid work after causing ‘mayhem’ when he took a friend’s 4X4 and crashed it into three parked cars.

Jobless Dale Clarke, of Kirk Hallam, caused the damage after seeing the Mitsubishi Shogun’s ignition keys at his home and nipped out to buy cigarettes on December 12, a court heard today (Thursday).

Two Peugeots had rear offside dents and a Seat was left with severe damage to its nearside front and a wing.

Deputy district judge Peter King told Clarke: “You caused mayhem and could have caused more serious damage, particularly if the people had been in their cars when you crashed into them.”

Clarke, 26, of St Norbert Drive, was banned from driving for two years and must pay a £60 government surcharge. No compensation was ordered for the damage because he is unemployed.

He admitted taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent, driving with 74 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, failing to stop after an accident, having no insurance and breaching the terms of his provisional licence.

When questioned by a probation officer, Clarke said he was drunk after downing ‘six or seven pints and was not thinking straight’.

Andrea Charity, prosecuting, said police knocked at Clarke’s front door after being told where he had gone when officers received reports of the damage on Windermere Avenue, Kirk Hallam, at 10.30pm.

“He answered the door and said, ‘Yes it was me. I did it. I crashed the car’,” Miss Charity told Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court.

Peter Jones, for Clarke, said: “There is very genuine remorse for what he had done.”

At the police station, he said he wanted to visit the car owners and apologise immediately.

Clarke was very apologetic and Mr Jones added: “It was a moment of complete stupidity. In a panic, he failed to stop.”