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Man jailed for drink driving

Man jailed for drink driving

Monday 21 September 2020

Man jailed for drink driving


A man who started "self-medicating" after suffering a "life-changing" accident has been jailed for drink driving.

David Morris, 43, was sentenced to eight weeks in Les Nicolles Prison and has been disqualified from driving for four years.

Morris was at the Co-op En Route in St Andrew's at around 9:30 on 16 August when he dropped a bottle of wine, leading to concerns from staff that he was drunk. 

The store supervisor told staff not to approve any purchases of alcohol, so Morris paid for his other groceries and left.

Prosecuting lawyer Sarah Watson told the Court that moments after, the supervisor decided to check if Morris had driven there. When the supervisor went out into the car park, they saw a customer talking to Morris, who was in the driver's seat of his vehicle.

The supervisor went over and warned Morris against driving the vehicle, however an eye-witness report stated that he ignored their urgings and drove off "aggressively" in the direction of the traffic lights.

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Pictured: Morris has been sentenced to eight week in prison for drink driving. 

Police were called and searched the area, eventually tracking down Morris at his home address around one hour later. 

He was arrested and produced a reading of 126mcg per 100ml of breath - around three-and-a-half times the legal limit. 

Defence Advocate Simon Florance said Morris had gone to a barbecue at a friend's house the day before and drunk heavily before returning home in a taxi around 22:00. Once home, Advocate Florance said he had some more wine with his partner before going to bed shortly after midnight.

He got up the next morning and said he "felt fine", so drove to the shop. 

In mitigation, Advocate Florance said his client had cooperated fully with the investigation and was genuinely "remorseful" for what he had done. 

He said Morris had suffered a serious accident several years, which he is currently seeking compensation for from the States, that had left him fighting for his life in Southampton Hospital's Intensive Care Unit.

Although he had physically recovered from that "life-changing" accident, it had cost him his career in financial services and he became reliant on medication to help ease his physical and emotional pain. 

"It has certainly had a profound effect on his mental health," said Advocate Florance. "He is not the person he was".

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Pictured: Morris was taken into custody, where the lowest reading he produced was one of 126mcg per 100ml of breath.

He said Morris' dependency on alcohol had increased since the accident and that this incident had been a "wake-up call" for him in relation to his alcohol consumption. 

Advocate Florance also contested the comment around Morris "driving off aggressively", saying it was ambiguous and did not clarify whether the "aggression" was a comment on his driving or his mood.

Judge Graeme McKerrell ruled that, either way, it was an aggravating factor coupled with a high alcohol reading.

"You showed no regard for the safety of others," he said.

He disagreed with Advocate Florance's plea to factor in Morris' "exceptional" circumstances, saying that Morris had made the decision to "self-medicate using alcohol". 

"Whether you drove off aggressively or showed an aggressive state of mind does not matter; what does matter is that in either scenario you were an obvious and serious risk to the public by being on the public highway."

Judge McKerrell sentenced Morris to eight weeks in prison and took him off the road for the next four years. 

Pictured top: Morris was sentenced in the Magistrate's Court. 

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