Man banned for drink driving after car rolled onto its side

Blackpool Magistrates' Court

Blackpool Magistrates' Court

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A driver whose girlfriend grabbed the steering wheel causing a crash was almost twice over the alcohol limit, a court heard.

Magistrates were told John Knowles and his partner were arguing because she wanted to go into town and he did not.

The couple were described as being lucky to be alive after the accident and probably owed their lives to the sturdy vehicle they were in.

Knowles, 27, of Treales Road, Treales, near Kirkham, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

He was banned from the road for three years and fined £270 with £85 costs, plus £27 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Prosecutor Pam Smith said on March 20, about 6pm, police went to an accident where a Range Rover Knowles had been driving had crashed into a parked car on the forecourt of a small service station on Treales Road, near the Hand and Dagger pub.

Knowles’s car was on its side, having rolled over. The defendant and a woman were seen crawling out of it. When asked if he had been drinking, Knowles replied: “Yeah, I’m not going to lie to you. I have been an idiot. I have been done for drink driving before.”

A breath test showed 61 micrograms of alcohol in his body where 35 is the limit. He had a previous drink-driving conviction from 2005.

Gerry Coyle, defending, told magistrates: “This is a bizarre case. The young woman in the car, his girlfriend, fully accepted responsibility to the police officer, saying she had pulled the steering wheel, which caused them to crash.

“They were lucky they were not killed. He was driving his dad’s work vehicle, and it was probably due to the sturdy nature of the vehicle they were able to walk away.”

Knowles said he had drunk three pints. His girlfriend wanted to go into town, but he said no. He was driving her home when she pulled the steering wheel. His job was to drive deliveries for a family wood shaving business but he would now not be able to.