Selsey driver pleads guilty to drink driving after crash in Midhurst

Worthing Magistrates Court
Worthing Magistrates Court

A logistics manager from Selsey, who said he crashed his car in Midhurst after swerving to avoid a deer, has pleaded guilty to drink driving.

Warren Haigh, 38, of Sunnymead Drive, Selsey, pleaded guilty to driving on the A286 in Midhurst after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion in his breath – 75 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – exceeded the prescribed limit.

Martina Sherlock, prosecuting, said police received a call from a member of the public reporting a vehicle on its roof about a mile south of Midhurst on May 14.

The member of the public approached a man – who was stood next to the car and was the only person in the vicinity – and came to the conclusion that the man was drunk, she said.

The police and paramedics were called, and a roadside test showed the man tested positive for alcohol, Ms Sherlock said.

No other vehicles were involved.

Richard Finlay, defending, said Haigh had been suffering from an abscess and had not been able to eat properly in days.

The father-of-two had two teeth taken out on the morning of the incident, according to Mr Finlay, and had been drinking in order to numb the pain.

Mr Finlay said Haigh was drinking K Cider at 1pm, which was stronger than what he would usually drink, and had a sleep before starting his journey home.

“He had thought the alcohol would be out of his system,” Mr Finlay said. “He had been sleeping for over four hours.”

While he was driving home, a deer ran out before his car and distracted his driving, according to Mr Finlay.

He swerved to avoid it and collided with the embankment.

Mr Finlay said of the incident: “It was a serious error of judgement for which he is very sorry.”

The case was adjourned for sentencing until Monday, December 9, while a report from the probation officer was prepared.

An interim driving disqualification was imposed on Haigh in the meantime.

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