Driver drank bottle of vodka before drive-thru crash

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court
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A Wigan man, who downed a bottle of vodka in his car then crashed into a barrier at McDonalds drive-through, has avoided jail.

Gary Dainty, of Hornby Street in Swinley, appeared at Wigan Magistrates’ Court this week charged with driving at more than four times the legal drinking limit.

The 46-year-old, who reportedly suffers from alcoholism, was arrested after getting drunk in his Vauxhall Mokka, following an early morning gym session, and driving his car into a barrier at the Morris Street fast food restaurant.

Wigan magistrates this week heard how Thomas Ravenscroft, a McDonald’s employee, noticed Dainty pull up to the order point at the drive-through and begin to fall asleep. The drunken man tried to move his car but “bashed into” the give way sign, blocking the entrance to the takeaway lane.

Tess Kenyon, prosecuting, told the court how Dainty’s ex-partner turned up shortly after the incident after spotting him turning into the restaurant and becoming “concerned” by his appearance.

“She was concerned about his driving so she turned round,” she said. “Police were contacted and the ambulance service.”

Police told the prosecution that when they approached the car, which had been moved into a disabled parking bay by his ex-partner, they saw that Dainty was “out of it”.

“We tried to get him to speak to us,” they said in a statement. “It was at that point we believed him to be drunk.

“Paramedics treated him as he lay across the back seat.”

On getting to the station, Dainty blew a reading of 143mcg per 100ml of breath – the legal limit is 35mcg.

He admitted to police officers that he had been to the gym in the morning, and on getting back to his car he had downed a 35cl bottle of vodka – more than 13 units of alcohol – mixed with coke. Dainty, who was not represented by a solicitor, told magistrates that he had not had a drink when he went to the gym, but that he had been drinking the night before.

He was sentenced to 12 weeks in jail, suspended for a year, banned from driving for 36 months, ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work over the next 12 months and instructed to pay £170 in costs. Dainty is already seeking help for his addiction.