A drunk driver from Rugby who drove his car into a river and had to be rescued after a passer-by climbed on top of the vehicle and smashed a window has been banned from driving for 20 months.
A whole year after being arrested on suspicion of drink driving after crashing his BMW X5 motor vehicle into the small river in the village of Withybrook, Bernard Frederick Reilly, aged 48, of Parkfield Road, Rugby, was convicted of drink driving and was disqualified from driving for 20 months. He was also ordered to pay £1,520 costs, £57 victim surcharge and a £576 fine.
Police were alerted to the collision at 1.50am a few days before Christmas on December 22 last year when a member of the public saw the vehicle partly submerged in the river.
The car was locked and the man inside was unable to get out until a member of the public managed to get on top of the vehicle and smash the window.
Police, fire and ambulance attended the scene and the driver was checked over by paramedics before being taken to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire for further assessment.
Warwickshire Police will be publicising arrests made during December for drink or drug driving as part of its annual campaign aimed at changing people’s behaviour and reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on the county’s roads.
During the first day of a national operation to target those suspected of driving under the influence of drink or drugs over the festive period, the public alerted the police to a car being driven by a man who was believed to be under the influence of alcohol.
Officers on patrol spotted the car and stopped it in Clarendon Avenue, Leamington, at 11.15am on December 1.
Following a breath test, 58-year-old Martin Lea of Skipworth Close, Brinklow, was arrested on suspicion of drink driving. He was later charged with drink driving, driving without insurance and driving without a licence and is due to appear before Warwickshire Magistrates Court in Leamington on January 8.
Police also arrested a 21-year-old man from Rugby on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs after his car was stopped by officers on Leicester Road, Rugby just after 2am on December 2. Following a search he was also arrested for possession of an offensive weapon and possession of cannabis. He will also be dealt with for tyre offences as the nearside front tyre was below the legal limit. He has been released on police bail pending further enquiries.
A spokesperson for Warwickshire Police said: "Officers are also asking the public to provide intelligence about anyone they believe may be drink or drug driving in Warwickshire to police by dialling 101 or 999 if an offence is in progress. Reports can also be made anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
"Follow us on Facebook @WarwickshirePolice and Twitter @WarksPolice @OPUWarks or visit the news section of our website www.warwickshire.police.uk for arrest details. We will also be using the hashtags #MoreDrugsThanDrink #Dontdrinkdrive"