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Freeway speeder 'sleep-driving'

2013-06-05 10:42

TIME FOR A NAP: A driver has avoided jail time after telling a court he was sleep driving when he crashed his Volvo S40. Image: Quickpic

LONDON, England - A drunken driver who crashed his car from 160km/h has avoided jail by telling a court he was “sleep-driving”.

The London Daily Mail reported that David Hamnett, 47, had been drinking before getting behind the wheel of his Volvo S40. He claimed, he was still asleep.

OVER THE LIMIT

He travelled 240km, reaching speeds as high as 160km/h, before rear-ending a vehicle and slamming into the motorway’s central barrier. He was cut free from the wreckage wearing “pyjamas” and was found to be almost twice the drink-drive limit.

Hamnett told a court he had been “sleep-driving”, claiming he was asleep during the entire drive before the crash. He had apparently put his “sleeping clothes” on to go to bed and woke up to find himself in the smash on the M5.

However Dr Chris Idzikowski, director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, said it was “highly unlikely” he could have been asleep behind the wheel for two hours without crashing.

Judge Peter Barrie accepted Hamnett had a sleeping disorder and it was possible he may have got into his car while asleep but had likely carried on with the journey after waking, according to the Mail.

DRIVING COURSE

Barrie said: “This was a highly dangerous incident at high speed, weaving on a highway and causing an accident in which you and the occupants of another car suffered significant injuries. An aggravating feature was that you were well over the drink-drive limit.”

Hamnett was convicted of dangerous driving and given a 12-month community order, banned from driving for six months and ordered to take an advanced driving course.

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