Drunk driver who crashed into traffic island blamed cyclist

Former Army chef claimed he swerved to avoid cyclist who“shot off the pavement”

A drunk-driver who crashed into a traffic island blamed a cyclist for the incident, a court has heard.

Daniel Ronald Thomas, aged 35, pleaded guilty at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court to driving while over the limit for alcohol, reports The Shields Gazette.

The former Army chef crashed into the bollard on a traffic island on North Road in Boldon, Tyne & Wear on 25 August last year.

When breathalysed, he was found to be exactly double the permitted limit of 35 microgrammes in 100 millilitres of breath.

He told police that a cyclist had “shot off the pavement,” forcing him to crash into the traffic island.

Lorna Rimell, prosecuting, said: “Police were called to the site of an RTA because the defendant had crashed into an island on North Road.

“He co-operated with the police. He failed the breath test.”

In mitigation, Val Bell said that after leaving the Army after 14 years’ service due to cardiomyopathy, Thomas had been unable to find permanent work, but was coming back from a trial shift when the crash took place.

She told the court: “He does accept the reading. He is absolutely adamant he had not had a great deal to drink that night and can’t understand why the reading was as high as it was

“It may be because he hadn’t eaten that day,” she added.

Thomas was fined £120 and ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £32 victim surcharge.

He was also banned from driving for 20 months.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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