Drink-driver crashed into car with baby

Scales of justice will swing towards protecting those with things to hide if new legislation is enacted

Scales of justice will swing towards protecting those with things to hide if new legislation is enacted

A boozed-up motorist who collided with an on-coming vehicle with a baby passenger has narrowly been spared from going to jail.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Thursday, January 12, how Nathan Smith, 23, of French Terrace, Whaley Thorns, had been driving on the wrong side of the A632 road at Langwith when he collided with a Land Rover.

Prosecuting solicitor Rod Chapman said Smith’s car was on the wrong side of the road and the Land Rover had to swerve before Smith collided with the vehicle. He added that the Land Rover driver was most concerned because he had an 11-month-old child in a child-seat in the vehicle.

Mr Chapman added there was a conversation between the defendant and the Land Rover driver before Smith fled but was tracked down by police who discovered his girlfriend was the registered vehicle keeper.

Smith pleaded guilty to exceeding the alcohol drink-drive limit and admitted being the driver of a vehicle involved in a collision that caused injury and failing to stop. He also pleaded guilty to using a vehicle without insurance after the incident on October 15, 2016.

The court heard Smith registered an estimated 69microgrammes of alcohol in 100millitres of breath after a reading was taken after he had been to hospital and it had to be back-calculated. The legal limit is 35microgrammes.

Defence solicitor Robert Sowter said Smith made full admissions and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

District Judge Andrew Davison sentenced Smith to 12 weeks of custody suspended for 12 months. He was also fined £120 and ordered to pay a £105 victim surcharge and £85 costs. District Judge Davison also disqualified Smith from driving for 20 months but he has been offered a chance to complete a drink-drive rehabilitation course to reduce the ban by five months.