Motorway smash drink-driver told police: ‘I should have had a bigger burger’

By Darren Cassey

A drink-driver who caused a collision on the motorway told officers “I should have had a bigger burger”.

Colin Delaney was behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz CL500 when it hit a Ford Transit on the M23 last May. Both vehicles suffered heavy damage in the accident near Crawley, which saw the southbound carriageway fully closed for about 30 minutes while police cleared the scene.

The 56-year-old director, of Hammerpond Road, Plummers Plain, Horsham, failed a roadside breath test, recording 40 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath – the limit is 35 micrograms. But when police told him he’d failed the test, Delaney simply said: “I should have had a bigger burger.”

Sussex Police said he admitted drinking two glasses of wine at lunch, and “showed no remorse for his actions and was more interested in finding out how far over the limit he was”.

At Horsham Magistrates’ Court on Monday, Delaney admitted driving with excess alcohol and was disqualified from driving for 13 months, fined £300, and ordered to pay £450 costs plus a £30 victim surcharge.

(Sussex Police)

After the case, PC Brad Simms, of the Bognor Regis Response Unit, said: “Eating a bigger meal would have had a minimal impact on the breath-test reading Delaney recorded. Instead of worrying about how close to the legal limit he was, Delaney could have guaranteed he was safe to drive by not drinking altogether.

“Delaney made a conscious decision to drive having consumed alcohol earlier that day. In doing so, he not only risked being over the limit, he also risked his own life and the lives of other road users.”

(Sussex Police)

This week the Department for Transport revealed that the number of deaths involving drink-drivers increased in 2016 to about 240, following a significant drop to around 200 in 2015.

The report also found that the number of collisions involving at least one driver over the drink-drive limit rose by seven per cent on 2015 to 6,080 in 2016.

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