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Drink driver was swerving from kerb to kerb on A5 between Llangollen and Chirk

Published date: 15 July 2017 |
Published by: Jonathan Grieve 
Read more articles by Jonathan Grieve  Email reporter


A man more than three times the drink-drive limit swerved from kerb to kerb on the A5 as oncoming traffic had to take evasive action.

Carl Michael Taylor, 49, of Thetford Close, Wigan, drove for about two miles along the busy road between Llangollen and Chirk at about 7pm on June 24.

He was veering all over the main road that runs through Newbridge before turning onto the A5, where he continued to drive at 30mph despite the speed limit being 60mph.

A 4x4 vehicle driving behind Taylor was displaying hazard lights to warn other motorists as he drove from kerb to kerb and oncoming traffic had to swerve out of his way.

He repeatedly crossed the white lines marking the middle of the road and it was only through luck that he did not hit any traffic travelling in the other direction.

A motorbike rider travelled in front of Taylor, a project manager earning £70,000 per year at Manchester Airport, waving and warning oncoming traffic of the danger.

Eventually Taylor came to a stop and the motorcyclist managed to grab his keys to prevent him driving any further.

Appearing before Wrexham Magistrates’ Court, Taylor pleaded guilty to drink-driving.

Justin Espie, prosecuting, said a breath test showed Taylor had 129 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.

Taylor, who was tearful at times throughout the hearing, had no previous convictions.

Probation officer Andrew Connah said Taylor fully accepted responsibility for his actions and was genuinely remorseful.

He had been suffering marital problems with his wife of 22 years since returning from an 18-month stint working in the Middle East and had left the family home to go camping in Llangollen at the time of the incident.

Taylor had bought some beers to drink that night and his intention had been to walk into Llangollen to have a drink before returning to the campsite and drinking more.

He could remember having one beer at the campsite but had no recollection of the events which occurred after that, Mr Connah said.

Taylor began to drink more while working away from home and continued to drink as a way to self-medicate when dealing with his marital problems.

He had referred himself to a drug and alcohol dependency service in Greater Manchester two months prior to the incident which brought him before the court.

Until that night, Taylor had not drunk since referring himself to the service and Mr Connah added he had abstained from alcohol since then.

The court heard Taylor is a type-1 diabetic and he thought that may be why he had no recollection of the incident.

Bethan Jones, defending, said Taylor had co-operated fully with police and had remained at the scene after the motorcyclist took his keys away.

Ms Jones said Taylor had left the family home so he could spend some time away and give his wife some time to herself.

But he could not explain why he had consumed so much alcohol and then got behind the wheel of the car.

A disqualification from driving would not result in him losing his job, but Taylor would face unemployment if he was jailed.

“The fear of coming here today has been sufficient punishment to ensure he does not come before this court or any other court in the future,” Ms Jones added.

Sentencing Taylor to a 16-week prison sentence suspended for two years, deputy district judge Martin Jackson said he had “very narrowly” avoided being jailed.

Mr Jackson added: “You drove for about two miles along a busy main road. Your driving was dangerous and you are fortunate you are not being prosecuted for that.

”This was an act which could quite easily have resulted in someone being seriously or fatally injured and you would have been facing a much more serious charge.”

Mr Jackson banned Taylor from driving for two-and-a-half-years and ordered him to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

A £115 victim surcharge and costs of £85 were also imposed.

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