A Wigan man who crashed his car the evening after a heavy night of drinking said he might have felt “fine” to drive because of a pre-existing blood disease.
Michael Roscoe, of Almond Grove, Pemberton, appeared before Wigan magistrates accused of being more than three times the legal alcohol limit.
The 51-year-old pleaded guilty, but said that haemochromatosis may have made him more susceptible to the effects of drink.
The court heard that at 4.45pm on April 28, Roscoe was driving down Ormskirk Road when he hit a lamppost at the Saddle Junction.
Tess Kenyon, prosecuting, said: “He was being treated in an ambulance. He said he had been driving and tried to brake hard to stop him from crashing into another car. They noticed the smell of alcohol on his breath, and there were various empty bottles of alcohol in the car.”
Police carried out a roadside breath test, which Roscoe failed. When interviewed by probation officers, he maintained he had not been drinking that day, but had been drinking heavily the night before after discovering he was losing his job at the Sports Direct warehouse.
“He accepts it was a high reading,” said a probation worker during his hearing. “He said he felt fine to drive. He said that the empty bottles in his car had been there for some time and he would never drink and drive at the same time.”
After the crash, he referred himself to Addaction for help with his “binge-drinking” problem and has been waiting for treatment to start.
Ged Frazer, defending, said magistrates might be inclined not to believe his client could still be so much over the limit from the night before. “He suffers from haemochromatosis,” he said.
“It affects alcohol absorption. Sometimes people don’t feel it. I don’t think there’s any reason to dispute what he says.”
Roscoe was given a 28-month driving ban and six-month community order including alcohol rehabilitation. He was also given a six-month curfew, briefly postponed so he could go away with his wife for their wedding anniversary.