Drink-driver lost control of car and went down embankment into trees

A South Tyneside drink-driver who lost control of his car on a motorway and spun down an embankment into trees has been banned from the roads.

By Gareth Crickmer
Monday, 27th June 2022, 4:55 am

Ross Craig, 34, of Calf Close Lane, Jarrow, careered his Vauxhall Vectra off the southbound carriageway of the A194(M) at Washington.

A witness following on Thursday, January 20, saw the smash and went to his aid, borough magistrates heard.

Ambulance crews sent to the scene found Craig unharmed, but police attended and insisted on a breath test.

South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

Prosecutor Clare Irving said it proved he was almost three times the drink-drive limit, his second such offence in less than 10 years.

Craig initially told police he was only the passenger and entered not guilty pleas at his first court appearance.

But he pleaded guilty on the day of his trial – and is now starting a three-year driving ban after admitting charges of drink-driving and driving without insurance.

Mrs Irving said: “The witness was driving towards the A1. He saw a car about 100 yards in front of him in lane two.

“The defendant’s vehicle swerved to the left and went down the embankment and into trees.

“The witness located the driver by the side of his car. He stayed with him until an ambulance and the police arrived.

“He was declared fit by the ambulance crew, and he then gave a positive roadside breath test.

“He pleaded not guilty, and the case was set down for trial. He accepted presence but said he was only the passenger.

“I would place this case as greater culpability, aggravated by the fact there was an accident.

“The defendant was before the court on a similar matter in August 2012.”

Craig gave a reading of 98mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, against a legal limit of 35mcg.

Jason Smith, defending, told magistrates Craig suffered deteriorating mental health, adding: “The only issue for you to determine is additional punishment.

“A three-year disqualification is almost inevitably going to follow.”

Craig was also handed an 18-month community order, with 40 rehabilitation days and fined £108, with £310 court costs and a £95 victim surcharge.