Drink-driving dad crashed during early-morning trip from Halifax to Barnoldswick to see daughter

The defendant has been banned for 19 months.
The defendant has been banned for 19 months.
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A dad who had visited his young daughter in Barnoldswick smashed his van into a wall whilst more than twice the drink-drive limit, a court heard.


Andrew O'Grady (37) had been drinking with friends in Halifax, where he lives, until about 6pm the day before. He had received a message saying the child had had an accident, had "felt compelled" to go and see her, and crashed at 4.30am on his way home.

Burnley magistrates were told how the collision meant he would now not only have trouble getting to see his little girl, but he had lost his job as an insurance assessor.

Mr Andrew Robinson, prosecuting, said police were called to the collision on School Lane in Laneshawbridge. O'Grady gave a positive roadside breath test and at the police station blew 71 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Mr Keith Rennison, defending, said O'Grady's ex-partner had sent him a message about their daughter and he decided to go and see her.

The solicitor continued: "He accepts now that is a wrong decision and accepts this is going to make it much more difficult to have contact with his daughter. He is now going to be reliant on other people to assist him or public transport."

Mr Rennison said the defendant didn't feel the worse for wear. He had been out drinking earlier. He was also tired. The solicitor went on: "He realises the danger he placed himself and others in. Thankfully, the roads were very quiet and the main risk was to himself."

Mr Rennison said the defendant now had no income coming in and was actively seeking work. He added: "It's going to have an impact on seeing his daughter and on his employability."

O'Grady, of Moorside Gardens, admitted driving with excess alcohol on February 2. He was fined £120, was banned for 19 months, and was told to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.