Teenage driver wrote off brother’s car after eight-pint binge

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A TEENAGER put lives in danger when he took his brother’s car for a drive after drinking heavily and smashed it into other vehicles.

Alex Stubbs, 19, had drunk six to eight pints and a number of shots when he got behind the wheel of the Vauxhall Corsa on February 22.

Despite the fact he’d had so much alcohol, he didn’t feel intoxicated.

Probation officer Paul Grace

Sunderland magistrates heard Stubbs had been to a family celebration that day before going home at 10pm, picking up a takeaway on the way.

When he found the keys to his brother’s 52-reg vehicle in their home in Hylton Road, Sunderland, he decided to take it without permission.

“His brother’s car was parked outside,” probation officer Paul Grace said.

“He was feeling particularly anxious, probably not helped by the alcohol consumed, about the recent separation of his parents.

“Some of his decision making and thought processes are a little vague.

“He took the car out because he wanted to clear his head. Despite the fact he’d had so much alcohol, he didn’t feel intoxicated. He also says he does not regularly drink.

“He takes the vehicle and drives to his friend’s house and ultimately there is a collision with other vehicles.”

Stubbs, a stores apprentice, crashed into a Honda Civic and Kia Cee’d in Henley Road, damaging his brother’s car so much that it was written off.

“He is, despite the offence, someone who is a relatively stable young man,” Mr Grace said. “He lives with his father and sister.”

“He doesn’t try to justify his behaviour,” Mr Grace added. “He knows he could be having a very different discussion with me and a very different outcome.

“He could have seriously hurt or killed somebody else or himself.”

Stubbs was arrested and found to have 62 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath – the legal limit being 35.

He admitted aggravated vehicle taking, drink-driving, failing to stop after an accident and having no licence or insurance.

Susan Grey, defending, said: “I echo most of what Mr Grace has said. He is a very pleasant young man and I don’t think he is going to be back before the court again.

“You can be very certain that Mr Stubbs accepts he is at fault and is very unlikely to offend again.”

Stubbs was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 80 hours of unpaid work.

He was banned from driving for 18 months and was ordered to pay £85 costs, £60 victim surcharge and £375 in compensation.