Banned: Drink driver who smashed down lamp-post in Sunderland

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A DRINK driver who ploughed his car into a lamppost and left the scene has been banned from the roads.

Ian Dobson was driving from his home in Ocean Road North, Sunderland, to the city centre, when he lost control of his car on the morning of April 26.

The 32-year-old then drove home, leaving the lamppost lying across the street, and rang the police.

When officers went to his house, they found his damaged car and Dobson inside with a head injury.

A breath test showed he had 82mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – the legal limit being 35.

He pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.

Lee Poppett, prosecuting, said Dobson’s Vauxhall Astra hit the lamppost in St Alban’s Street, but instead of reporting the accident, he drove back home, leaving the post lying across the street.

Mr Poppett said: “He gave a full and frank account of the incident to the police.

“He said he left his house at 7.30am and headed for Seaburn Marina, as he had some agreement with a driving school.

“He said he had drunk seven pints of Fosters the night before and he had lost control of the car due to the wet conditions.”

Jason Smith, defending, said Dobson was previously of good character and had lost his job after the smash.

He added: “He had been out the previous evening and had a considerable amount to drink.

“He had not had anything to eat, he had got up the next morning and he had driven.

“The common misconception with most people is if you have a sleep and get up the next morning, you are OK to drive.

“But that is really not the case. He had this accident, returned home and contacted the police.

“They turned up and he made full admissions as to what he had done.

“The mistake he made was not remaining at the scene.”

Magistrates banned Dobson from driving for 18 months. He must also pay a £130 fine and £15 victim surcharge, and £85 towards court costs.

A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said: “Motorists can still be affected by alcohol the following day, no matter how long they have slept, or what they have eaten before driving.

“It’s a myth that sleep, coffee and cold showers can sober you up, and even a small amount of alcohol left in your system can have a serious effect on your ability to drive.

“Anyone with any doubts about if they are over the limit the next morning should not drive and find another way of travelling.

“The decision could mean the difference between killing or seriously injuring yourself or another person.”