A BUSINESSMAN who crashed his vehicle whilst drunk has been disqualified from driving.

Joshua Raymond Pritchard, who owns the tree surgeon business GroundLord Ltd, required hospital treatment after the crash on February 1 last year.

He was travelling on the A343 through Hurstbourne Tarrant when he clipped a traffic island and overturned his Polaris Ranger.

A blood test in hospital revealed he had 190 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of his blood, more than twice the limit of 80.

Defending Pritchard at Basingstoke Magistrates' Court on Thursday morning, Tom Brymer said that the 30-year-old had found the time that the pandemic-delayed case had been hanging over him "very difficult".

He told the court that Pritchard, of Dunley Road near Whitchurch, had suffered from alcohol problems following the death of his business partner in 2018.

"He has been frustrated and angry at himself for what he did," he told District Judge Timothy Pattinson.

"He had to change something. Hugely to his credit, he started the work with Alcoholics Anonymous, but that was stopped abruptly [because of the pandemic]."

Mr Brymer added that he has since been working with a sponsor, and building up a "great" support network that he didn't have in place before.

The solicitor said that Pritchard had acknowledged he would face a driving ban, but appealed to the District Judge to make it as short as possible because of the impact on his business.

District Judge Pattinson fined Pritchard £400, as well as ordering him to pay costs of £85 and a £40 victim surcharge.

He was banned from driving for 12 months, which can be reduced following the successful completion of an awareness course.

According to its website, GroundLord is "a leading provider of tree and vegetation management, site clearance and forestry services across the South of England".

It is based on Winchester Street in Andover.