A MOTORIST whose car was driven into the front of a store in Nelson, narrowly avoiding a collision with a shopkeeper and town council maintenance man, admitted to drink-driving when he appeared before Burnley magistrates.

Police arrested Arnas Andriukaitis, 31, after a Peugeot 306 car demolished the shutter and display window at the former Harry Garlick premises in Scotland Road on Bank Holiday Monday.


Shopkeeper and borough councillor Eileen Ansar, who is in the process of renovating the premises, had been standing beside the door before stepping away to speak with her husband.

Andriukaitis, of Charles Street, Nelson, is alleged to have tried to pass off a false driving licence, after his arrest.

He admitted to offences of driving with excess alcohol, after it was found he had a breathalyser reading of 65mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.

And he also pleaded guilty to not having a driving licence, using the Peugeot without insurance, using a driving licence with intent to deceive, obstructing a police officer and committing fraud by making a false representation.

He was given an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months and 18 months probation supervision. Andriukaitis must participate in 60 days of rehabilitation activities.

The court also imposed a three-year driving disqualification on the defendant and ordered him to pay £300 in compensation, £85 costs, a criminal courts charge of £180 and a victim surcharge of £80.

Speaking after the case, Cllr Ansar, who represents the town’s Clover Hill ward, said: “The shop was left looking a right mess and he could have killed us.”

Graham Williams, the lengthsman for Nelson Town Council, was standing just yards away when the Peugeot careered into the shop, which is positioned at the top of a turning head, before The Shuttle public artwork. He was about to walk past the shop when the crash happened.

Cllr Ansar has raised questions with Lancashire County Council regarding why there was not a bollard in front of the premises.

“It was an accident waiting to happen really – we told them there would be problems and look what happened,” she added.