Drink driver clipped another car before crashing into a tree while over the limit

A student has been banned from the roads after he clipped another car and crashed into a tree while over the limit.

Friday, 31st January 2020, 10:26 am
The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

Solomon Turnbull, 20, of Linskell, Leechmere, Sunderland, touched a motorist’s wing mirror with his private registration VW Golf when she started to turn right just as he overtook, a court heard.

The incident, soon after 10pm on Friday, November 29, sent him off Queen Alexandra Road, Sunderland, and into a tree.

Police attended and Turnbull, who court heard is a student in South Tyneside, gave a breath test reading of 61 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

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He was handed a 17-month driving ban and fined £375 after he admitted a charge of drink-driving at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecutor Lee Poppett said the motorist’s was driving a red Hyundai on Queen Alexandra Road.

He added: “As she starts to turn right she feels an impact on the driver’s door.

“She saw what she thought was a black vehicle going past at high speed and collide with a tree. She gets out of her vehicle.

“The police arrive, and he complies and gives a breath sample. He admits going for a couple of pints. It is accepted that he was fully insured and taxed.

“When asked what had happened, he said, ‘I overtook a car, it didn’t indicate. I swerved and hit a tree’.”

Ed Jackson, defending, said: “There’s no evidence of the damage caused, I would suggest that there’s minimal impact.

“It was a lack of judgement, he says it’s two pints. He’s clearly not usually irresponsible, he just made a decision that was entirely out of character to him.

“He feels embarrassment and is remorseful about this.”

District Judge Natalie Wortley told Turnbull: “I’m sure you realise that this is a very serious matter.

“I’ve taken into account your early guilty pleas and that there’s genuine remorse. It was entirely out of character.”

Turnbull, who is set to take his final maritime exams in March, must also pay £85 court costs and a £37 victim surcharge.