A SUBSTANCE misuse counsellor swigged neat vodka behind the wheel before crashing in Shefford Woodlands, Newbury magistrates heard.
The father of five was more than three times the legal limit when he careered out of control, the court was told on Thursday, March 19.
Clare Barclay, prosecuting, said the drama happened in the village after the 49-year-old alcoholic – who counsels youngsters for a living – had been drinking spirits from a bottle as he drove.
She said Enrico Paulin had been visiting his estranged partner and was on his way home to Gravesend in Kent when he lost control of his BMW, collided with a roadsign and mounted a roundabout on the A338.
Police found paramedics tending to him near the wreckage of the car, the court heard, and subsequent tests made in hospital where Mr Paulin was being treated for his injuries showed 111mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system.
The legal limit is 35mcg.
Mr Paulin, who has three previous convictions for drink driving, one for driving while disqualified and one for being drunk and disorderly, admitted driving after drinking more than the legal limit.
Tim Baker, defending, said no other vehicles were involved but conceded: “His car was in quite a state – he was lucky to walk away relatively unscatched.”
He said the substance misuse counsellor, who had battled alcoholism himself, had reverted to the bottle after visiting his former partner, and had been completely co-operative with police.
Mr Paulin was made subject to a 12-month community order with 150 hours’ unpaid work requirement.
In addition he was ordered to pay £85 costs plus a statutory surcharge of £60.
Finally, he was banned from driving for 40 months.