Drink-driver who caused serious road smash was more than five times the alcohol limit, police reveal

A DRINK driver who caused a road crash that hurt three people in Rotherham, while he was five times over the alcohol limit, has been jailed.
Incoherent: John DuckworthIncoherent: John Duckworth
Incoherent: John Duckworth

John Duckworth, aged 46, was so drunk he could not speak an articulate sentence to South Yorkshire Police officers who attended the crash scene.

It happened on Saturday September 6 last year, at Bawtry Road, after Duckworth failed to stop at the junction with Pavillion Lane.

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That led to a three car collision, resulting in three people - including an elderly woman - being seriously injured.

According to police, all three have since recovered from their physical injuries but expect the mental trauma of the experience to remain with them for life.

Duckworth was uninjured in the collision, but was spoken to by officers at the scene, who were alerted by the fact he was slurring his speech, was unable to speak clearly and was slumped over the steering wheel of his vehicle.

He was given a breath test and produced a sample registering 180, when the limit is 35.

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Duckworth, of Harmony Way, Catcliffe, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.

He was also disqualified from driving for ten years.

Roads Policing Constable James Ball said: “This incident highlights the dangers of people getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while under the influence of drink or drugs.

“People were seriously injured because of Duckworth’s selfish actions, which could have had fatal consequences.

“We are currently in week two of the Fatal 4 campaign, raising awareness of the dangers of the biggest contributing factors to fatalities and those seriously injured on our roads; speeding, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, mobile phone use and failing to wear a seatbelt.

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“Hopefully Duckworth’s consequences for his actions can act as a deterrent to other drivers.

“You could kill someone, lose your job, family and friends,” he said.

Although the drink drive limit in this country is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, road safety experts warn against drinking anything ahead of driving as even small quantities can affect driver reactions and it is impossible to gauge when a driver is under or over the limit, without testing.