Drink driver left with £17,000 loan to pay off after crashing his new car while almost twice the limit

A drink-driver has been left to fund a £17,000 finance payment for his new motor after smashing it into trees while boozed up and getting a roads ban.

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 30th January 2020, 10:29 am

James Burns, 22, of Front Street, East Boldon, lost control and crashed his 2016-plate Seat Leon in Hedworth Lane in Jarrow, just after midnight on Saturday, December 21.

Magistrates in South Tyneside, who banned him from driving for 18 months, heard he still owns the money on finance and must continue to pay over £300-a-month until his debt is settled.

They were told Burns, who works in manufacturing, had not long bought the motor when he spun off the road, the vehicle coming to rest on its side.

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The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

Prosecutor Jeff Taylor said: “On the 15th of December at about 12.20am, he lost control of his vehicle in Hedworth Lane and hit some trees and ended up on its side.

“He told the attending officer that he had had three pints of lager. A roadside breath test was a fail. He made full admissions. He has no previous convictions.”

Mr Taylor said Burns was taken to a police station, where two readings on a breath test device confirmed Burns was almost twice the drink-drive limit.

The court heard his lowest reading was 67 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Michelle Stonley, defending, said: “Mr Burns had consumed three pints and he was over the limit when he went out to collect his girlfriend that night.

“Fortunately no other vehicle was involved and nobody was hurt. Mr Burns not did not leave the scene as some do.

“He makes a full admission in interview. He is 22 and was of previous good character, which he has lost.

“He was in the process of buying the motor vehicle and still owes £17,000 to the finance company. He is thoroughly remorseful and ashamed that he is before the court today.”

The court heard Burns, who admitted a charge of drink-driving, will not lose his shift work job due to his conviction but will have to cycle to his place of employment.

He was also fined £392 and must pay £85 court costs and a £39 victim surcharge.