A ROYAL Marine who was due to be promoted to Lance Corporal has put his career in jeopardy after he was caught drink-driving.
Christopher Doig, 20, pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared at Burton Magistrates’ Court.
The defendant was on leave to celebrate his sister’s wedding when he committed the offence on July 15.
After drinking beer and wine all evening, Doig made his way back to the Holiday Inn in Wellington Road, Burton, via a minibus, but he foolishly decided to drive to Uttoxeter at 1.30am to meet a friend.
Andrew Bodger, prosecuting, said: “Police saw his extensively damaged Vauxhall Astra parked in Trinity Square, Uttoxeter, at 2.45am. It had bits of hedge in the doors, both wing mirrors were smashed off and dents, mud and scratch marks all over it.
“CCTV operators informed police that the driver had re-attended the car at 3.25am and he was found sitting in the driver’s seat with his keys in the ignition. He said he intended to take his friend home in Marchington before making his way back to Burton.” Doig, who admitted to police that he had crashed into a hedge along a country lane in Rangemore before driving off, gave a positive roadside breath test of 64 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 mililetres of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.
John Bunting, defending, said this was ‘very out of character’ for his client.
“He isn’t usually a heavy drinker and he knows driving the car in that state was a very stupid thing to do”, he added.
“This will impact his Royal Marine career massively as he was due to be promoted and now this won’t happen for at least two years. He will have to work as a chef instead because he’ll lose his licence and he currently operates Land Rovers.
“He will also be punished by the Army as well by this court today.
“It was a poor misjudgement which will cost him hugely as it will be years before he gets his career back on track with the Marines now.” The defendant was accompanied in court by Lieutenant Stewart who described him in his character reference as a ‘keen, hard-working man and a professional solider who is valuable to the Marine service.’ Magistrates disqualified Doig from driving for 17 months and fined him £225 reduced from £315 for his early guilty plea. He was also made to pay £85 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
The defendant, of West Road, Buxton, was also offered the drink-drive awareness course to reduce his ban by five months.