Judge jails 'worst' drink driver he has ever seen

Exeter Crown Court

Exeter Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A serial drink driver has been jailed after he crashed into a hedge after downing two bottles of wine in an hour-and-a-half. 

Ian Day, from Northam, lost control of his VW Touareg as he tried to join the A39 at Abbotsham while driving too fast and more than two and a half times over the drink drive limit. 

He was jailed after a judge at Exeter Crown Court told him he has the worst record for drink driving and driving while disqualified that he had ever seen. 

Antique dealer Day has eight previous convictions for both offences and was just over a year into a 50-month ban when he was arrested in September last year. 

He had a police-style baton and a Samurai sword with him in the car but later claimed he was planning to sell them. 

There were eight empty wine bottles in the vehicle and he said he had drunk two of them in the 90 minutes before the crash and then decided to drive to a beach. 

Day, aged 66, of Century Drive, Northam, admitted drink driving, driving while disqualified, and possession of a blade and an offensive weapon. 

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He was jailed for eight months and banned from driving for six years by Judge Peter Johnson. 

He told him: “You have one of the worst driving records, in terms of excess alcohol, I have ever seen. This was poor driving which led to an accident. You represent a danger to the public.” 

Brian Fitzherbert, prosecuting, said Day’s car approached a junction onto a dual carriageway section of the A39 at Abbotsham at 4.25pm on September 4, 2020, at excessive speed. 

He lost control as he avoided another motorist who was waiting to join the road and crashed into a hedge. He begged rescuers not to call the police. 

He gave a breath test of 97 micrograms, the limit being 35, and admitted drinking two bottles of wine since 3pm. 

Herc Ashworth, defending, said the sword and baton were part of a job lot Day had bought in his capacity as an antique dealer and was planning to sell. 

He said he has caring responsibilities for an elderly couple in North Devon, but suffers from anxiety and depression and had self-medicated with alcohol before making the foolish decision to drive to the beach. 

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