Beer drinker nodded off at the wheel and swerved into oncoming car in Annesley

A drink driver was sipping beer at 7.45am when he fell asleep at the wheel and swerved into an oncoming car in Annesley, a court has heard.

Friday, 7th January 2022, 11:19 am

Neil Walker's VW Crafter van collided with a white Mercedes, spinning it 180 degrees and leaving it in a ditch, on Derby Road, on November 20, last year.

Walker's van ended up on the wrong side of the road, and the female driver was taken to hospital for a check up, said prosecutor Alexis Mercer.

A breath test revealed he had 61 mcgs of alcohol, when the legal limit is 35 mcgs.

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Walked told police he was returning from Sheffield after a night shift and bought a bottle of Budweiser which he was drinking when he felt himself falling asleep, said Ms Mercer.

"He accepted that before starting his night shift he consumed five or six bottles of ale," she said. "He conceded he does have a problem with alcohol.”

Walker has previous convictions for drink driving from 1997 and 2003, Ms Mercer added, but because they fall outside of the ten-year limit, they should be disregarded.

Maria Moore, mitigating, said: “Two days before he began working night shifts for the first time and his body clock was not adjusted. He had been kept awake by a family pet.

“When the collision happened he immediately checked that the other driver was okay. He made full admissions in interview.

“As a result of this he has been dismissed by his employers despite working there for many years.

“Mr Walker has not sat around feeling sorry for himself and has a new job as a warehouse operative where he can cycle to work.”

Ms Moore said he has been “abstinent since the offence and has sought help from a local alcohol recovery centre to help him remain sober.”

Walker, 51, of Douglas Road, Long Eaton, admitted drink driving when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Thursday.

Before he was sentenced, Walker became unsteady on his feet. He told the court: “It's just the realisation of how severe things could have been.”

He was fined £584 with a £58 surcharge and £85 costs. He was banned for 17 months, but a rehabilitation course for drink drivers will reduce the disqualification by 129 days if he completes it before November 2022.

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