A MAN who crashed his car on the way to work one morning before Christmas was more than three times the drink-drive limit.
Jonathan Mark Pritchard, 30, demolished a fence at Caergwrle but continued to drive to the Tesco store at Mold where he was then employed.
Two community support officers spoke to him in the supermarket car park and smelled alcohol on his breath. He provided a positive breath test to police officers called to the scene, was arrested and later blew a reading of 106 microgrammes of alcohol compared to the legal limit of 35.
Pritchard, of Clarence Road, Wrexham, had been out drinking the night before, but believed he was within the limit when he left for work the following morning.
He pleaded guilty at Flintshire Magistrates Court to driving when over the drink-drive limit at Wrexham Road, Caergwrle, on the morning of December 17.
Pritchard was banned from driving for two years and was placed on a 12-month community order. He must carry out 60 hours of unpaid work and he was sent on a 10-day alcohol course run by the probation service.
The Mold court heard Pritchard, who lost his job at Tesco as a result of the incident, had not touched alcohol since the incident. He did not realise the alcohol would still be in his system the following morning.
Matthew Ellis, prosecuting, said at 10.40am Pritchard lost control of his Daihatsu, went over the nearside kerb and through a fence, then got back onto the road.
A witness heard the noise and took a note of the registration number of the vehicle as it continued towards Mold. Police were informed.
About half-an-hour later his store supervisor spoke to him, could smell alcohol and he said he had been involved in a collision on the way to work.
Ten minutes later two police community support officers spoke to him by his car.
They could smell alcohol, they contacted regular police officers who brought a breath test kit to the scene.
Interviewed, he accepted he was the driver, he was involved in the crash, he had continued on his way to work in a panic and had intended to go to the police station when he was fit to drive.
However, he initially claimed he had drunk three cans of cider in the car park after he arrived in work. CCTV was checked and three unopened cans were found in the car.
Pritchard spoke to his employer and decided that when he was fit to drive he would go to the police station to report it, but events overtook him and he was arrested.
There had been a shift change the night before, he had been out and drank into the early hours.
Magistrates said they were surprised Pritchard did not realise the alcohol would still be in his system.
They said he was fortunate no one had been hurt or killed.