February 22, 2021 4.34 pm This story is over 38 months old

Drink driver avoids jail after near miss head-on crash

His headlights were off

A drink driver has avoided jail after almost causing a head-on collision in Lincoln when he drove straight towards an oncoming vehicle with no headlights on.

Sean Grice, 31, was more than twice over the limit as he drove along B1190 Lincoln Road near to its junction with Black Lane at Doddington with his lights turned off.

Catherine Picardo, prosecuting, said the driver of the oncoming car was terrified believing she was about to die until Grice swerved out of the way at the last moment.

“It was dark. The driver of a Peugeot had her daughter in the front passenger seat and was travelling along Lincoln Road when she noticed a car was coming towards her without any headlights on.

“The car was travelling at speed and swerved into her carriageway heading towards her. She panicked. She thought she would die in a head-on collision.

“She covered her daughter with her left hand and braced herself. Fortunately the defendant, who was driving his Ford Focus, managed to swerve out of the way.”

Grice continued on his journey but soon afterwards his car struck a metal barrier at the junction of the B1190 and the A57.

Miss Picardo said: “Police were soon at the scene. Officers noticed that the driver was intoxicated and he failed a roadside breath test.”

Grice was initially taken to hospital and was later taken to the police station.

“In a holding cell at the police station he urinated. He was very drunk. He was aggressive and emotional.”

A breath test produced a reading of 85 mgs of alcohol per 100 mls of breath, putting him over the legal limit of 35 mgs.

When Grice was interviewed he admitted what he had done and apologised.

Grice, 31, of Maltravers Crescent, Sheffield, admitted charges of driving with excess alcohol, dangerous driving and criminal damage as a result of the incident on November 28, 2020.

He was given a nine month jail sentence suspended for two years with 200 hours of unpaid work and 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

He was banned from driving for two years and ordered to pass an extended retest before he can legally drive again.

Judge Simon Hirst told him: “It is a matter of enormous fortune that nobody was seriously hurt.”

Neil Sands, in mitigation, said Grice had been drinking at his grandfather’s home before deciding to drive back to Sheffield.

“He has expressed remorse from the outset. It was a monumentally foolish and ridiculous decision to have the drink and then to drive. It is fair to say that this was out of character.

“When his employer learned of what had happened that was the end of his job. Since then he hasn’t worked.”