A LAND Rover driver left a trail of destruction behind him as he got behind the wheel after an evening of drinking with friends.

Graham Allen went to get his coat from his car but said that in a “moment of madness” he decided to drive.

The 56-year-old also told police he had not kept track of how much he had been drinking.

The Argus:

He crashed into 14 cars hitting two vehicles so hard it made them spin around so they were left facing the opposite way in the middle of the road.

A garden wall was also demolished.

Police were called to the incident in Sydney Road, Eastbourne, at about 9.30pm on January 5.

Shortly after a passerby told officers they had seen a damaged Land Rover outside a flat in Beatty Road.

The Argus:

There was no answer at the flat so police forced their way into the building and found Allen inside.

Allen, a removals operative, was arrested and charged with driving with more than double the legal limit of alcohol in his system and being the driver of a vehicle which caused damage to 14 vehicles and a wall, and failed to stop.

The Argus:

He pleaded guilty to both offences at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday April 17 and was banned from driving for 20 months.

He was also sentenced to a 12-month community order, requiring him to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

Allen received a fine of £450, and ordered to pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

Sergeant Vicki Rees, of the East Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “Driving under the influence of drink or drugs is extremely dangerous and it can have dire consequences.

The Argus:

“Last year in Sussex, a total of 74 people were killed or seriously injured as a result of a collision involving a drink-driver.

“The level of damage caused in this case was clearly extensive and had there been a pedestrian or a cyclist in the road at the time, it could have been a whole different story.

“Receiving a criminal conviction for drink or drug-driving can have a sobering effect on offenders, who often express remorse for their actions.

The Argus:

“But the dangers of drink or drug-driving are well documented, and it shouldn’t take a court appearance to make them realise that.

“Our message is clear. Drink or drive, never both.”