Drunk driver fled from police

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

A man who borrowed his friend’s car to nip out and buy cigarettes while drunk has been banned from driving.

Wigan Magistrates Court heard that police officers saw David Mountford, of Pennington Road, Leigh, driving a Ford Focus at around 12.50am on June 30.

They thought something might be wrong with the car as it was making an odd noise and began to follow it. They began to suspect that the driver had been drinking.

But when they activated their lights, the car did not stop but sped off.

Ann Deacon, prosecuting, said: “The officers turned on their emergency lights but the vehicle sped away from the officers, making no attempt to stop.

“After a little while the driver stopped the car, got out and made off in the direction of Leigh.

“Officers followed the defendant but lost him.

“They were then alerted that he had been spotted on town centre CCTV hiding in a garden.

“He was arrested on suspicion of driving with excess alcohol, no insurance and failing to stop and was found to be in possession of a small snap bag containing white powder which he admitted was cocaine.”

The court heard that Mountford was breathalysed at the police station and had 67 micrograms of alcohol per 100 milliletres of breath, over the limit of 35.

The 26-year-old admitted driving while drunk and with no insurance, failing to stop and possessing a class A drug.

Bob Toppin, defending, said: “He had been out drinking in the evening and didn’t intend to drive but had gone out to the garage to buy cigarettes. He borrowed a friend’s car to do it.”

Mountford was given a 12 month community order with 120 hours unpaid work for possessing a class A drug and driving under the influence.

For driving with no insurance he was fined £120 and there was no extra penalty for failing to stop . He was banned from driving for 20 months and offered an awareness course to reduce his ban by 20 weeks.

He was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £85.

Last month, the Wigan Evening Post revealed shocking figures that one person was arrested every day during December for drink or drug driving offences in the borough.

In total, 32 people were arrested in the borough for driving over the drink or drug limit during the month as part of Greater Manchester Police’s annual festive operation to target people who get behind the wheel after one too many, a freedom of information request has revealed.