A DRINK-DRIVER narrowly avoided serious injury after a wooden fence post smashed through his windscreen after he crashed off the road and into a field, heard Skipton Magistrates Court.

Robert Pate, 52, had been drinking with friends in Skipton and was on his way home to Barnoldswick along Gargrave Road, Skipton, at just after midnight on July 18 when he swerved to avoid an oncoming car at some roadworks, left the road and ended up in a field, the court was told.

A passer-by was reluctant to get close to the crashed Ford Fusion because they were concerned about coming across a dead body in the field, the court heard on Friday, last week.

Prosecuting, Martin Butterworth said traffic officer Andrew Ingram, responding to reports of an accident, described how part of a wooden panel had gone through the driver’s windscreen and into the passenger side of the car, just missing the driver.

Pate was still in the driver’s seat, was conscious and had clearly been drinking. A roadside breath test was positive, he was arrested and taken to the police station where he was found to have 105 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, almost three times over the legal limit of 35. He suffered just minor injuries.

Pate, who admitted drink-driving, had been drinking beer and vodka before attempting to drive home.

In mitigation, Ruth Weir said he had gone into Skipton to meet up with friends and had no intention of driving home but staying overnight.

On this occasion, he had drunk four or five pints of beer at Wetherspoon’s and a half bottle of vodka at a friend’s house, but when he had gone to where he intended to stay overnight, his friend was out.

Pate, of Earl Street, Barnoldswick, was given a 12-month community order and banned from driving for 28 months.

He will have to complete up to 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days and undertake 14 drink-driver impairment sessions.

He was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and a surcharge of £90.