A14 crash driver blames alcohol and medication cocktail for 'black out'
A drink-driver has claimed mixing medication with alcohol caused him to "black out" and collide with a lorry on the A14.
Mark Rasmussen's Mercedes SL320 collided with a tipper truck and span into the central reservation crash barrier on the A14 at Newmarket at 5.25pm on April 6.
The 43-year-old was taken to hospital for a check-up before being transported to Bury St Edmunds police investigation centre, where he was found to have 85 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit being 35mcg.
Rasmussen, who lives and works in Amsterdam, but gave a UK postal address of Bury Road, Wickham Street, when he admitted drink-driving at Suffolk Magistrates' Court, said he was taking medication for a number of issues at the time of the collision.
“I fully admit responsibility for my actions,” he told the court.
“While it wasn't the direct cause of the accident, it's worth noting that the medication, in conjunction with alcohol, certainly had an impact.
“I've since done some research and learned that alcohol plus medication can lead to dizziness, drowsiness and, at worst, black-outs.
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“The fact I didn't brake in this collision leads me to think I blacked out.”
Rasmussen told magistrates he drank a Bloody Mary that morning and went back to bed. In the afternoon, he drank a beer and went to collect his car, which he parked elsewhere before going out the previous evening.
“Having nothing to eat in the morning, plus the drink, plus the medication led me to black out,” he repeated.
“I'm very thankful no one was critically injured.
“This has been a spur for me to get help with managing or getting off alcohol while working through other issues.”
Rasmussen revealed his 62-year-old father had been killed by a dangerous driver on the same road, at Bottisham, almost 10 years earlier. For that reason, he told magistrates, no one would accompany him to court.
“Hence, none of my family are here to support me,” he said.
Rasmussen was disqualified from driving for 21 months and fined £693.
He was also ordered to contribute £85 toward the cost of prosecution and pay a £69 statutory fee towards victim services.