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Unlucky drink-driver crashed into police car

....and a plain clothes officer was in the car behind

John Garvey

John Garvey


01635 886628

Unlucky drink-driver crashed into police car

A NEWBURY motorist was right out of luck when he crashed into the vehicle in front, causing a three-car pile-up.

For it was an unmarked police vehicle – and 39-year-old Rommel Leon had drunk more than the legal limit.

Not only that......the car behind was being driven by an off-duty police officer, a court heard.

Mr Leon, who lives at Bartholomew Court, was soon on his way to the town’s police station, having failed a breath test.

He appeared for sentencing at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, April 4.

Anne Sawyer-Brandish, prosecuting, said: “The collision happened just before 11am on the A339 in Newbury.

“Mr Leon failed to slow down when the traffic ahead of him stopped and he collided with the rear of the unmarked police vehicle.

“This caused it to shunt forward and collide with another stationary or slow-moving car.

“Behind the defendant was an off-duty officer who stopped to assist. A roadside breath test was conducted, which he failed.”

Mr Leon admitted driving a Škoda Fabia after drinking more than the legal limit on March 21.

Tests showed 46mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system. The legal limit is 35mcg.

Simon Grant, defending, said his client was a hard-working father of two, who worked long shifts in a local restaurant.

On this occasion, added Mr Grant, he had been drinking the previous evening with friends to relax “so it was a bit of a surprise to him that he was still over the limit –  he thought he was sober and fit to drive”.

Magistrates told Mr Leon that they heard “time and time again of people who have been drinking the night before and don’t realise they’re still over the limit the next day”.

He had, they said, “learned that lesson the hard way”.

Mr Leon was fined £480 and ordered to pay £85 costs, plus a statutory victim services surcharge of £48.

In addition, he was banned from driving for 14 months.

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Article comments

  • rachaele

    15/04/2019 - 12:51

    Sloppy journalism! His actions resulted in a crash due to driving illegally. I'd call it "lucky" that he crashed into the police car so the rest of West Berkshire had a motorist removed from the roads. The text implies most of the time he'd have managed to have got away with driving under the influence.