Drunk driver is filmed sipping from gin glass moments before he smashed into a lamppost at 90mph


Grim and tonic: Drunk driver is filmed sipping from gin glass moments before he smashed into a lamppost at 90mph in crash that nearly killed his girlfriend

  • Dane Wood was travelling at 90mph in Sunderland on the way to get a takeaway
  • Newcastle Crown Court heard that his partner suffered a badly broken ankle
  • Footage shows the 28-year-old appear to drink liquid from a blue gin glass

This is the shocking moment a drunk driver sipped from a gin glass before he smashed into a lamppost and seriously injured his girlfriend.

Dane Wood was travelling at around 90mph in Sunderland on the way to collect a takeaway with the woman when he crashed after going through a red light.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that his partner suffered a badly broken ankle and witnesses at the time thought she had been killed.

Footage taken inside the car shows the 28-year-old appear to drink liquid from a blue gin glass as he was driving.

Prosecutor Graham O’Sullivan said: ‘The defendant drove his car with one passenger, his partner, at excessive speed.

‘It’s clear he doesn’t slow down as he approaches the traffic light. He goes straight over that junction on the roundabout and crashes immediately with a lamppost.

‘This caused extensive damage to the car. The collision caused an injury to his partner. People thought she was dead.

This is the shocking moment a drunk driver sipped from a gin glass before he smashed into a lamppost and seriously injured his girlfriend

This is the shocking moment a drunk driver sipped from a gin glass before he smashed into a lamppost and seriously injured his girlfriend

Dane Wood was travelling at around 90mph in Sunderland on the way to collect a takeaway with the woman when he crashed after going through a red light

Dane Wood was travelling at around 90mph in Sunderland on the way to collect a takeaway with the woman when he crashed after going through a red light

‘A number of other drivers stopped their car to assist. They saw her unconscious and slumped in the car.

‘She had to be removed from the car by the paramedics and possibly by the defendant himself.

‘The defendant was standing by the car and was saying he wasn’t the driver and he repeated the same to the police when they arrived.’

The court heard that Wood blew 96mg of alcohol for 100ml of blood, which is over the legal limit of 80.

Wood, of Rosedale Crescent, Houghton-le-Spring, later pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Tony Davis, defending, said: ‘He is a hard-working man effectively providing for four dependents by the way of children from a previous relationship and his partner’s children who he treats as his own and she is expected to give birth in four day’s time.

‘Already he has arranged transport to work. There is strong personal mitigation and any immediate sentence would have a significant and harmful impact on his dependents.

‘This was an error of judgment. He went with his girlfriend and he went to pick up a takeaway meal. 

‘The glass in the hand is frankly not a good feature in this case. It was a silly, stupid error which of course they have both suffered from.’

Mr Recorder James Wood KC warned Wood that the consequences could have been far worse, but accepted a letter from the victim who stated she had made a full recovery.

Wood, of Rosedale Crescent, Houghton-le-Spring, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving

Wood, of Rosedale Crescent, Houghton-le-Spring, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving

Newcastle Crown Court heard that his partner suffered a badly broken ankle and witnesses at the time thought she had been killed

Newcastle Crown Court heard that his partner suffered a badly broken ankle and witnesses at the time thought she had been killed

Footage taken inside the car shows the 28-year-old appear to drink liquid from a blue gin glass as he was driving

Footage taken inside the car shows the 28-year-old appear to drink liquid from a blue gin glass as he was driving

The judge said: ‘You drove at an excessive and unlawful speed through a red traffic light at what the observers thought was between 90 and 100mph.

‘You did that in fact with excessive alcohol in your blood. You lied to witnesses and police.

‘Had your partner died, you would be looking at a significant and substantial sentence.’

The judge also acknowledged that the victim had been recording the drive on her phone in the moments leading up to the crash.

He said: ‘Let me be clear, that is wholly inappropriate and I’m wholly satisfied and in no doubt that the custody threshold is crossed for this offence.’

However, the judge added: ‘I’m satisfied you’re a hardworking man. You showed remorse for what you did and I have regard for your plea of guilt even though it came after denials.’

Wood was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months and a two-year driving ban.

He must also complete 120 hours of unpaid work and pay a £600 fine.

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