Drink driver found on M55

Blackpool Magistrates' Court

Blackpool Magistrates' Court

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A man who had been celebrating a friend’s birthday was found on the M55 trying to flag down cars after crashing at a nearby roundabout.

Brian Lawton had been locked out of a hotel bedroom in Blackpool after a row with his girlfriend and was more than twice over the alcohol limit when he set off to drive home.

Lawton, a 23-year-old shop fitter, of Oakbank Avenue, Blackley, Manchester, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

He was banned from the road for 17 months and fined £220 with £85 costs plus £22 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Presiding magistrate, Barry Birch, told him: “Driving with excess alcohol is totally unacceptable and the fact that you had an accident makes it worse.”

Pam Smith, prosecuting, said police found Lawton’s Citroen on Progress Way on September 7 at 4.20am after he collided with a nearby roundabout, destroying some street signs.

Officers then saw Lawton on the M55 trying to flag down cars.

A breath test showed 82 micrograms of alcohol in his body – 35 is the limit.

Lawton told police he had drunk six or seven pints and argued with his girlfriend, who locked him out of their hotel room. During the accident the car’s airbag had gone off and he had injured his nose.

Sarah McIntyre, defending, said her client was sorry for his actions and had learnt his lesson in the hardest way.

Ms McIntyre added: “He tells me he is not a regular drinker, but was drinking on this occasion because it was a friend’s birthday.”