Whitchurch crash driver was over the limit

Basingstoke Gazette: Mr Smith's car rolled over and landed on its roof at Wells-in-the-Field Mr Smith's car rolled over and landed on its roof at Wells-in-the-Field

A MAN was found to be over the drink-drive limit after he rolled his car near Whitchurch.

Mark Smith, of London Street, Whitchurch, admitted drink-driving when he appeared at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that 37-year-old Smith was travelling along the B3400, at Wells-in-the-Field, at 9.25am on Christmas Eve last year when he lost control and collided with the near-side verge. His Seat Ibiza car rolled over and landed on its roof.

Serena Edwards, prosecuting, told the court that by the time the police arrived at the scene of the crash, Smith had walked away.

She said: “A wallet with his details was found locally and a short while later he [Smith] returned and introduced himself to the police.”

Smith, who has no previous convictions and a previously clean licence, was found to have 53 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit for driving is 35mg.

Smith, who represented himself, told magistrates that he had been drinking the previous day.

He said: “I wouldn’t have driven if I thought I was over the limit. I am ashamed basically. I don’t know what else to say. I have written a letter as I know I would get nervous.”

After magistrates read the letter handed to them, presiding magistrate Rachel Dye, sentenced Smith to a 14-month driving ban along with a £400 fine, reduced from £600 for his early guilty plea. Smith was also ordered to pay £85 in court costs and a £40 victim surcharge.

Mrs Dye, who offered Smith the chance to complete a drink-driving rehabilitation course to reduce the length of his disqualification, said: “I have no choice but to ban you from driving today.”

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