Ilfracombe man received a lengthy driving ban after hitting a roadside bank and flipping his car while under the influence.

A MAN who drove into a bank and flipped his Mazda MX5 while still under the influence of alcohol has been banned from driving for more than three years.

Eldon Evans, 46, of Chambercombe Road, Ilfracombe, was driving to work at 5.30am on April 22 when his car ended up in a field at the side of St Brannock’s Road in Ilfracombe.

He admitted drinking six pints of strong cider the night before but claimed he had gone to bed early before starting his 6am shift.

Evans said he thought the alcohol would have been out of his system by the time he drove to workin Braunton the next morning.

But a ‘momentary lapse of concentration’ caused his car to hit the bank of the road, crash into a wall and turn over several times, landing in a field, said prosecutor Mark Haddow.

North Devon Magistrates’ Court heard today (Fri) this was the second drink driving conviction Evans had received in 10 years.

Nigel Treasaden, defending, said his client told him the crash was a ‘life changing event’.

“The car had a vinyl roof and there was a point when that was the only thing between him and the road,” said Mr Treasaden.

“He thought he was going to be very seriously injured but fortunately he only ended up with a few scratches.”

Evans was treated by paramedics on the scene and fire fighters from Ilfracombe had to attend the scene to make the car safe.

Magistrates told Evans it was a very serious offence and that it was very fortunate he had not been injured or caused injury to others.

He received a 38 month driving ban, was fined £375 and ordered to pay a £38 victim surcharge and £85 costs.