Sergeant was still over drink drive limit after night in RAF Coningsby mess

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An RAF Sergeant, who had been drinking in the mess at RAF Coningsby until the early hours of the morning, was still over the alcohol limit when he drove his service car the next day, a court has been told.

Dean Michael Collins, 27, of School Row, Linton on Ouse, admitted driving with excess alcohol when he appeared before magistrates at Skegness.

Paul Wood, prosecuting, said that Collins had reversed the RAF owned Vauxhall Corsa into a ditch on Dogdyke Road at 7.40am on November 28.

He said Collins had been at RAF Coningsby the previous night and had been drinking in the mess.

Mr Wood said that the next morning he had left early to avoid traffic and had taken the wrong turning.

As he tried to reverse he went into the ditch and when police saw him he was breathalised, providing a sample of 59 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Mitigating, Beris Brickles said that Collins was an air traffic controller at Linton on Ouse and had gone to RAF Coningsby the previous day to familiarise himself with a new system.

He said he had drunk alcohol in the early evening, then had a meal, and then gone back to the mess and taken more alcohol, going to bed at about 1am.

Mr Brickles said Collins decided to return to York at 6am to avoid the traffic and did not believe he was still affected by the alcohol he had taken the previous evening.

He said that on leaving the base, his sat nav took him in the wrong direction down Dogdyke Road.

When Collins realised he was going wrong, he tried to turn round and reversed into a false ditch he had not seen and put a wheel into it and the car stuck.

The magistrates disqualified Collins from driving for 14 months, but offered him the drink drivers’ rehabilitation course, which would reduce the period of disqualification by 14 weeks.

He was also fined £450 and ordered to pay a £45 victim surcharge and £85 in costs.