Sunderland warehouse worker's 'stupid mistake' drink-driving after football match

A warehouse worker admitted he had made a “stupid mistake” in driving at over three times the limit after watching football with a friend.

Friday, 10th September 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Friday, 10th September 2021, 2:03 pm

Darren Dobinson, 32, made the confession at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, where his antics on Sunderland’s roads were outlined to the court.

Dobinson, of Goldsmith Road, Grindon, Sunderland, was seen driving his Citroen by police in North Moor Lane, Farringdon.

Despite putting on their blue lights, he failed to stop and at one point vanished, prosecutor Sarah Malkinson said.

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The driver was first spotted by police in North Moor Lane, Sunderland

She added: “Officers were in North Moor Lane, driving towards the roundabout at 11pm on Monday, June 28.

“They caught site of the defendant’s vehicle, driving across a roundabout at speed

“The officers illuminated their sirens and attempted to stop the vehicle, but they temporarily lost sight of it.”

The court heard Dobinson’s car was found parked in Durham Road.

Ms Malkinson said: “The defendant was seen to exit the vehicle and walk onto the pavement.

“He was asked to stop but he refused. He was unsteady on his feet and smelled of intoxicating liquor.

“He was arrested on suspicion of being unfit to drive.”

Dobinson, who has two non-driving related previous convictions, the last in 2012, was breathalysed at a police station.

He gave a reading of 117mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Defending himself in court, Dobinson, who pleaded guilty to drink-driving, said: “It was a stupid mistake. I really regret it, I’m sorry for it.

“I picked a friend up, I was already drunk. I wanted to watch a football match.

“I didn’t realise how much I’d had. I shouldn’t have done it.”

District Judge Paul Currer said he accepted Dobinson was remorseful and understood how serious an offence it was.

He banned him from driving for 24 months, but offered him a place on a drink-driver rehabilitation course.

Successful completion of the self-funded programme reduces a ban by a quarter.

Dobinson was also sentenced to a 12-month community order, with a requirement of 120 hours of unpaid work.

He must pay a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

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