WATCH: Video shows the moment a drink-driver crashed head-on into another car
- Credit: Suffolk Constabulary
A drunk Suffolk motorist whose dangerous driving resulted in a head-on collision with another car has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Sentencing 24-year-old Benjamin Berry, Judge David Pugh said it was “pure chance” that no-one was seriously injured in the crash in which another car was also damaged.
Judge Pugh said that in addition to being twice the drink-drive limit Berry, who has a previous drink-drive conviction dating back to 2016, also had twice the legal limit for drugs in his blood.
Berry, of Parkway, Wickham Market, admitted dangerous driving and driving while over the limit for alcohol and cannabis.
He was given an eight-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months and banned from driving for three years.
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He was also given a 12-month alcohol treatment programme, a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement and a three-month curfew order.
Daniel Taylor, prosecuting, told the court that Michael Maggs was driving along a 30mph stretch of the B1438 Yarmouth Road through Ufford at about 5.50 m on November 28 last year when he saw a car driven by Berry coming towards him on the wrong side of the road.
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The car was swerving and being driven erratically before it hit him head-on, said Mr Taylor.
The three occupants of a third vehicle had been on their way to Ufford Park Hotel when Berry tried to overtake and clipped their offside, showering them in broken glass.
A mini bus driver who had been driving on the same stretch of road described hearing an engine revving as a black car overtook him on the wrong side of the road before pulling back in front of him.
The car had then tried to overtake another vehicle before colliding with the car driven by Mr Maggs.
When the mini bus driver went over to Berry he heard him say: “I’ve really messed up this time.”
Hugh Vass for Berry said his client felt genuine remorse for what he had done.
He’d been addicted to drugs and was an alcoholic and had been unable to cope with the end of a seven-year relationship with his girlfriend.
“He accepts that his behaviour could have had more serious consequences,” said Mr Vass.
He said Berry had started to put his life back together and was clear of drugs although he was not yet alcohol free.