A baker drunkenly crashed into a car in Fishponds – then drove a witness to his house.
Costel-Iulian Bercuci drove his grey BMW into a grey Peugeot on Guinea Lane, while at more than double the alcohol limit.
The 42-year-old then carried on driving home, but in his passenger seat was a witness who had got in to make sure he did not flee.
Bercuci went into his North Devon Road house and the witness called police, who knocked on the Warburtons worker’s front door and arrested him.
He was handed a two-year driving ban at Bristol Magistrates’ Court yesterday (August 27), after admitting drink-driving and failing to stop after an accident.
Prosecutor Hannah Depledge said: “On May 22, two friends were getting into a grey Peugeot parked on Guinea Lane, Fishponds.
“As they were getting in, they saw the defendant’s BMW being driven down Guinea Lane.
“It was noted the BMW was being driven very slowly as it prepared to take a right turn onto North Devon Road.
“As it approached the right-hand turn, it collided with the front passenger side of the Peugeot. It was a low-speed collision causing minor damage.”
Bercuci’s BMW stopped parallel to the Peugeot, blocking the road.
“One of the witnesses approached the driver’s door and the defendant exited the vehicle,” Ms Depledge added.
“The witness described the defendant as being generally sluggish and his breath smelling of alcohol.
“In an effort to make sure the defendant didn’t drive away, one of the witnesses got into the passenger seat of the BMW.
“The defendant drove his vehicle up North Devon Road, parking outside a house.
“The witness returned to his friend and stated the defendant had gone into the address because he wanted to go to the toilet.”
Bercuci remained inside the home until police knocked on the door.
He was arrested and gave a breath test. The lowest reading was 93mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – the legal limit is 35mcg.
Mark O’Donnell, mitigating, said the Romanian has been in the UK for almost three years.
“He has held down employment throughout that period and has worked in Warburtons Bakery for the last seven months,” Mr O’Donnell said.
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“He works four 12-hour night shifts, has four days off, and then four day-shifts.
“It was during one of his four days off, which coincided with a housemate’s birthday celebrations, that he consumed alcohol the evening before the accident.
“He topped up the alcohol during the course of the next day and made the foolish decision to go to the shop in his motor vehicle while over the limit.”
‘A great deal of difficulties’
While driving back from the shop to his home, he “clipped” the Peugeot, Mr O’Donnell said.
The lawyer added: “Mr Bercuci says there was a conversation about money changing hands after the accident, a figure of £500.
“He went into his house to use the toilet and look for some money. Had he come out earlier, there wouldn’t have been a fail to stop charge.
“But unfortunately, five or 10 minutes elapsed, and by that time police had been called.
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“He pays £344 a month for the BMW and has four years left on the contract, which is going to cause him a great deal of difficulties.”
Mr O’Donnell said his client accepts he should not have driven.
Presiding Justice Steven Wilson ordered Bercuci to pay a £230 fine, £85 in prosecution costs and £34 victim surcharge.
His two-year driving ban will be cut by six months if he takes a drink-driving awareness course.