Downton drink driver banned after crash

Downton drink driver banned after crash

Published by Mike Draper at 2:20pm 6th December 2019. (Updated at 2:22pm 6th December 2019)

3 minute read

The motorist fled the scene of a huge smash after driving at speeds of 80mph in North Dorset.

Richard Mark Vass, from Batchelor Way in Downton, Wiltshire, was sentenced on Thursday (5 Dec 2019).

He was found guilty of offences of failing to stop after a collision and drink driving at a trial at Weymouth Magistrates' Court.


  • The 32 year old was disqualified from driving for three years
  • Vass was also fined £1,500
  • He has been ordered to pay £1,200 in costs


The smashed remains of Richard Vass' Land Rover after the crash in North Dorset.
WRECKED: Police arrived to find the smashed remains of a black Land Rover registered to Vass.

At 12.17am on Saturday 6 July 2019 officers were called to reports of a single vehicle collision on Kings Road in Gillingham. It was reported a car had hit the kerb and caused damage to gardens and properties as well colliding with a telegraph pole.

When officers arrived at the scene they found a badly damaged black Land Rover, registered to Vass. They also spoke to a passenger who had been in the vehicle and it was established that the driver had left the scene.

  • Following searches of the area, officers located and arrested Vass in Shaftesbury Road.


His passenger reported that they had both been drinking at a pub in Shaftesbury before getting in Vass' car and he had been driving around the area at speeds above 80mph. At one point he released his passenger's seatbelt when they asked him to slow down.

Vass and his passenger were taken to hospital to be checked over but fortunately they did not sustain any serious injuries.

A urine sample was obtained from Vass while he was at hospital and was found to contain 161 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine. The legal limit is 107 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine. 

Inspector Simon Perry, of North Dorset police, said:

"Richard Vass took the reckless decision to get behind the wheel of a car while he was under the influence of alcohol and the extent of the damage sustained by his vehicle shows he was subsequently involved in a high speed collision."

"It is only through good fortune that his passenger or Vass himself were not more seriously injured and this case is another stark reminder of the potential dangers of driving while your judgement is impaired as a result of intoxication."

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