A driver high on booze and cocaine caused a head-on smash by travelling into the path of an oncoming van.
Christopher Spedding had consumed alcohol and taken the class A drug before he got behind the wheel of his VW Polo and caused the collision late one evening in Whitley Bay.
A court heard that, after the crash, the 24-year-old was seen to get out his vehicle and “stagger about” before collapsing on the roadside.
He was taken to hospital, where a sample of his blood was taken and sent for analysis.
Spedding was found to be over-the-limit for both alcohol and Benzoylecgonine, a breakdown product of cocaine.
Now, the technical analyst, of Marden Road South, in Whitley Bay, has been banned from the roads for 22 months after he pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, driving over the specified drug limit and careless driving.
Sue Baker, prosecuting at North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, said the accident between Spedding an the van happened on Hillheads Road at around 10.10pm on June 24 this year.
Mrs Baker continued: “The defendant has driven into the path of a van, which was travelling in the opposite direction.
“The van driver said the collision was unavoidable and the crash was head-on.
“The van driver had to force his was out of his vehicle through the passenger side due to the damage caused.
“He went to speak to the defendant and ask if he was OK. He saw the defendant get out the car, stagger about and collapse next to the car.”
A subsequent blood analysis revealed Spedding had 82 micrograms of BZE per litre of blood, when the legal limit is 50, and 197 milligrams of alcohol in 100ml of blood, when the legal limit is 80.
The court heard that the van driver had suffered muscle damage and “significant financial loss” after his vehicle, which was used in his family business, was written off.
John Kirkham, defending, said Spedding had never been in trouble before, had co-operated with the police and was remorseful.
He added: “He’s got issues in relation to alcohol addiction but he is receiving treatment, which is going well, and he has a counselling session once a week.
“Mr Spedding actually took the cocaine the day before but he admits he had drank alcohol earlier in the day. He was driving to a local supermarket.”
Spedding was fined £401 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £40 victim surcharge.