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Friday, 24 October 2014

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North Cumbrian crash chef double drink-drive limit

A chef who was double the drink-drive limit when his car crashed on a road near Carlisle has been banned from driving for 18 months.

Chris Hogg photo
Chris Hogg

Christopher James Hogg, 38, who owns Skitby restaurant at Smithfield, overturned his Suzuki Grand Vitara in the early hours of December 22 after drinking a bottle of wine.

Hogg, of Barclose Farm, Scaleby, admitted the offence when he appeared before Carlisle magistrates.

Pam Ward, prosecuting, told the court that police were alerted to the accident, on the B6071 road near Smithfield. When they arrived they found the vehicle overturned and the driver missing.

Mrs Ward said friends had helped Hogg out of the car and had taken him to a nearby house. A subsequent breath test found he had 70mcgms of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgms.

Martin McAlister, defending, said Hogg was head chef at the restaurant which had been very busy in the run up to Christmas.

On the previous evening Hogg had catered for a party of around 130 people but the restaurant had been hit by power cuts because of the bad weather. He had to borrow a generator and fuel from a local farm to get his lighting back on.

Mr McAlister added: “He hadn’t eaten all day which would have affected his system. He admits drinking a bottle of wine and had been under a lot of stress that day. He only lives five minutes from the restaurant and made a bad decision to drive after finishing work.”

He added that Hogg was “shocked and remorseful”. The ban would have a serious impact on his business and family.

He was also fined £220 and told to pay £107 costs.

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