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Over-limit driver did 400 miles

A LORRY driver was almost three times over the limit when he smashed into a house at the end of his nightshift.

A LORRY driver was almost three times over the limit when he smashed into a house at the end of his nightshift.

Magistrates heard how Alfred Taylor, 63, from Accring-ton, had driven 400 miles that night.

He was at the wheel of a Mercedes articulated lorry when he crashed on Liverpool Road, Burnley, just before 11am last Friday. He told police he had not had any alcohol for 24 hours.

Taylor, whose solicitor said the defendant "perhaps drinks a little more than he should", had done two 200-mile trips to Birmingham and back during the night.

Taylor, who has held a HGV licence for about 40 years, had his case adjourned until 5 January for an all-options-open pre-sentence report.

The Bench warned him that included the possibility of custody.

The defendant, of Manch-ester Road, Accrington, admitted driving with excess alcohol and was given an interim ban.

Andy Robinson, prosecuting, told the court Taylor left the road and hit a lamp-post and then a house. Police were called and he was in a nearby property.

Officers noticed Taylor's breath smelled of drink and he was taken to the police station after a positive roadside breath test. The lower of two tests revealed 99 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 mililitres of breath, the legal limit being 35.

Mr Robinson said when the vehicle was later checked it was found to have no apparent defects.

When the defendant was later interviewed, he said he had dropped a cigarette, bent down to pick it up and swerved to avoid a bus.

Taylor claimed he had not had a drink for 24 hours, but that was "scarcely credible" given the breath test reading.

The prosecutor added the defendant's tachograph was seized and showed he had started work at 9pm the previous night. There had been various breaks throughout the night and Taylor had got back behind the wheel 10 minutes before the accident.

He had no previous convictions.

Geoff Ireland, defending, said Taylor had a clean driving licence. He would now no longer be able to work as a lorry driver and would have to sign on.

For the last five weeks before the offence, he had been working, through an agency, for Night-freight GB Ltd in Burnley and started work about 9pm.

He would pick up his lorry at Rosegrove and make two trips, totalling around 400 miles, to Birmingham every night.

Mr Ireland said the defendant had finished his previous shift at 8am the day before but when he got home he did not usually go to bed.

He would have a drink and on the day before the accident he had a "fair amount," of whisky, and then went to bed. He would get up about 5pm.

Taylor found himself still driving at 10.50am because there was a problem on the M6.

He had been very close to home when the accident happened.

Mr Ireland went on: "If the level of alcohol was so high at 10.50am, what would it have been earlier in the night? He had driven all that way without any problems."

The solicitor added the vehicle could have caused a great deal of damage and Taylor, whose wife is a pharmacy assistant, was ashamed and concerned by his appearance in court.


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