Derbyshire man asleep in car with ‘engine running’ after seven pints of Carling


David Downs was more than twice over the legal drinking limit when he was spotted by officers at Fox Hill in Scarcliffe.

Prosecutor Becky Allsop told Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court: ‘Officers found a parked car with the engine running and the driver asleep.

“It took some effort to wake him up – he said he drank Carling about an hour ago.”

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Downs was found asleep in a rest area on Fox Hill, Scarcliffe

However, Ms Allsop said in a police interview that Downs admitted to drinking seven pints of lager.

She said: ‘He did not recall the following events but did recall speaking to officers.

“He pulled into the parking lot but didn’t remember physically getting in the car and driving – when interviewed he said he was disgusted by his own behaviour.”

The court heard Downs committed the drunk driving offense during the 12-month suspension period of an eight-week prison sentence for a communication offence.

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John Wilford, Downs’ solicitor, said: ‘He had gone to the pub and consumed a lot of alcohol and made the unfortunate decision to drive a car.

Mr Wilford added that Downs only walked half a mile from the pub before stopping – while his client who suffered from anxiety and depression tried to kill himself in March.

Downs, of Station Road, Whitwell, admitted driving while intoxicated and breaching a suspended sentence.

District Judge Andrew Davison told him, “You will appreciate putting yourself in a precarious position.

“Last October, you were sentenced to eight weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months – but it would be unfair to activate the suspended sentence.”

The judge noted that Downs suffered from mental health issues that needed to be addressed.

Downs was banned from driving for 20 months, fined £400, paid £85 court costs and a victim fine surcharge of £40.

He was told that the original suspended sentence would stand and three additional days of rehabilitation activities would be applied.

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