Drunk driver finished drink in front of police officers

Crime story
Crime story

A DRUNK who carried on boozing from a pint glass after being caught behind the wheel by police has been hit with a lengthy ban.

Dale Sutton finished off a pint in front of stunned officers after drunkenly driving off in a friend’s car.

Wigan Magistrates’ Court heard how the 29-year-old had been asked by his friend, Michael Pye, to look after his car keys while on a drunken night out.

But Sutton, who has never held a driving licence, instead tried to drive his pal’s Vauxhall Corsa home.

Prosecutor Katie Beattie told how police driving along Firs Lane towards Leigh spotted the Corsa in the middle of the road, parked at “an odd angle”.

When they approached they saw Sutton attempting to restart the engine despite the car being so damaged that it was “not in a drivable state”.

Both front tyres had punctured and the drive shaft was clearly either bent or broken.

The defendant then got out of the vehicle carrying a half-full pint glass and finished his drink in front of stunned officers.

When asked to complete a roadside breath test, Sutton said: “Don’t bother - I know I’ll fail.”

Sutton was placed under arrest and gave a reading of 106 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath at the police station. The legal limit is just 35.

Mr Pye only discovered that his car had been taken when he awoke the following morning. The repair cost has been estimated at £1,200.

In a victim impact statement, he said: “I’m really annoyed about this. I had only just got the car repaired.”

Sutton, of Scott Street, Leigh, pleaded guilty to drink driving, aggravated vehicle taking and driving without a licence or insurance at the first opportunity.

Martin Jones, defending, said his client accepted that he was “utterly and totally wrong”.

Magistrates ordered Sutton to complete a six-month alcohol treatment course and banned him from driving for 28 months. They also gave him a 20-week curfew.