South Shields drink-driver in crash while taking Ford Fiesta for a cool-down spin after row

A South Tyneside warehouse worker has been banned from the roads after being involved in a crash while over the drink-drive limit.

Sunday, 10th October 2021, 11:15 am

Joel Shanks, 24, jumped into his motor after a bust-up at home in Vine Street, near Tyne Dock, South Tyneside Magistrates’ court heard.

But during his evening cool-down trip on Saturday, July 31, he was involved in an accident, putting police on his scent.

Prosecutor Lillian Yanes Hellevik said they searched for him after collision alerts came in – and spotted him getting out of his vehicle outside his front door, looking unsteady on his feet.

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The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Shanks is now starting a 14-month disqualification after he gave a positive breath test reading, and pleaded guilty to drink-driving.

Ms Yanes Hellevik said: “Officers were given reports of an accident and a description of the vehicle involved.

“It was a silver Ford Fiesta and was being driven by a white male. They have seen it in Talbot Road, and it was confirmed as being registered to Vine Street.

“They witnessed the defendant leaving the vehicle by the driver’s side and they noticed he was unsteady on his feet.

“His eyes were also glazed, and he smelled of intoxicants on his breath.

“A roadside breath test was positive, and he was taken into custody.

“This offence was aggravated by the fact the vehicle was involved in an accident.”

The court heard Shanks gave an evidential breath test reading of 47mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Val Bell, defending, said: “He made full admissions to police at the scene and had pleaded guilty immediately.

“He had been out on the night in question and hadn’t been out in his vehicle.

“He returned home and there had been a disagreement and he went out to cool down. He regrets driving.

“Fortunately for his employment, his job is not dependent on being able to drive.”

Magistrates offered Shanks the opportunity to sit a drink-driver rehabilitation course, which reduces a ban by a quarter on successful completion.

They also fined him £392, and he must pay £85 court costs and a £39 victim surcharge.

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