A Judge in Maidstone has jailed a man for two years after he seriously injured two other motorists in a drink driving accident.
The 22-year-old warehouse worker had downed half a bottle of vodka, plus another four shots of it, and two pints of beer before starting his journey. All three drivers were injured, two seriously, and one is having to learn to walk again.
Prosecuting, Anthony Bartholomeusz told Maidstone Crown Court that the driver lost control of his Audi A3 while attempting an overtaking manoeuvre on the A228 North Pembury bypass at around 1am on October 7, 2017.
The driver struck the rear off-side of the Mondeo he was overtaking, causing it to veer across the single carriageway where it collided with an oncoming Peugeot
The Audi span off the carriageway and came to a rest in trees and bushes while the Peugeot dug into an adjacent verge, overturning and landing on its roof.
Mr Bartholomeusz said that both the drivers of the Mondeo and the Peugeot had been driving in a careful and competent manner, while the driver of the Audi accepted responsibility and admitted how much he had consumed.
Tests found the drink driver to have 138mcg alcohol in 100ml blood, where the legal limit is 80mcg.
The driver of the Mondeo suffered four broken ribs and fractures to his pelvis, forearm, kneecap, and right ankle, as well as needing a skin graft. While “on the road to recovery” it was a slow process and he was still learning to walk again.
Also a warehouse worker, it was uncertain whether he will be able to return to his job.
The driver of the Peugeot suffered three broken ribs in the accident, as well as fractures to his pelvis and a bone in his foot, plus severe bruising to his heart and lungs.
His wife suffered a bruised lung and bruising to the back of her head.
Mr Bartholomeusz said: “There is serious aggravation in this case.”
“Three people were hurt and two were caused serious injury. The defendant was driving with excess alcohol.”
Defending his client, who has no previous convictions, Alexander Stein said it was the consumption of alcohol that made the driving dangerous.
“He is extremely remorseful. He has written a letter to the Rowes and the Greens.
“He is very sorry for what he has done.
“At the time he had only been driving for about a year. If he hadn’t consumed alcohol his case may well have been dealt with by careless driving or dangerous driving.”
“It may be in a case like this with a young man the court can show some leniency and suspend the sentence and impose strict conditions in relation to unpaid work,” he added.
On sentencing, Judge Charles MacDonald QC said: “This is a very sad and serious case. Very serious injuries were suffered by two other drivers.
“Both families were heavily affected, and still are affected.
“The defendant will never forget this incident. It is my duty to punish him and deter others.
“There is absolutely no doubt the appropriate punishment can only be achieved by immediate custody.”
Stating that the driver was “significantly intoxicated”, the impairment of which led him to decide to overtake, Judge MacDonald continued:
“It was grossly unsafe to do so.
“Very serious injuries were suffered by the drivers, happily falling short of life-changing injuries.
“I reject the argument that inexperience contributed to these collisions. They were due to drinking.”
After admitting two offences of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and one of driving while over the prescribed alcohol limit, the judge sentenced the man to 22 months in prison to serve a minimum of 11 and banned from the roads for three years on his release.
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