Crashed car while over limit after flying from Norway

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An account manager from Chatburn who crashed his car into a tree after flying in to Stansted Airport in Essex has been banned from driving and fined.

Christopher Russell (51), of St Chad’s Avenue, who was twice over the drink-drive limit, had underestimated how much he had drunk before boarding his flight from Norway to the UK, Chelmsford magistrates were told.

Russell pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol on August 24th this year in Hall Road, Stansted, and was disqualified for 20 months and fined £750, with £165 costs. Prosecutor Mr Ian Allen said Russell crashed his Vauxhall Insignia into a tree while negotiating a right hand bend at 5 pm. He was taken to hospital and while there gave a blood-alcohol reading of 164mg in 100ml of blood – the limit is 80mg.

Miss Lorna Glover (defending) said Russell had returned from a weekend in Norway, adding: “He misjudged the amount of alcohol he consumed at the airport in Norway before boarding, a misjudgment which will now haunt him for some time.”

He had been driving home and no other road users or passengers were involved, said Miss Glover. He was remorseful and ashamed and it was totally out of character.