A DRINK driver has received a suspended sentence for crashing his van while nearly five times the legal limit.

Simon Fletcher had drunk half a litre of vodka between 8am and 4pm on October 25 before getting in his van and driving to a friend’s house.

While driving along Ambury Road at 6.40pm, the 31-year-old crashed into a car ahead of him, which had slowed down for a speed bump.

When officers arrived at the scene, Fletcher’s van was stuck on a verge and was revving hard. They smelt alcohol on Fletcher’s breath and he failed a roadside breath test.

He was taken to Huntingdon police station where he gave a reading of 168 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit is 35mcg in 100ml.

The court heard that Fletcher had had a drink problem for about four years and Julian Hopley, defending, said the incident had “shattered” his client.

On November 14, Fletcher admitted driving with excess alcohol and failing to surrender to court.

On Thursday (December 20) Fletcher, of Merritt Street, Huntingdon, was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to complete an alcohol treatment order. He was also banned from driving for three years.

He was told that only a custodial sentence was suitable for his “off the scale” reading.

Fletcher was ordered to pay £85 costs and an £80 victim surcharge. He faced no separate penalty for failing to surrender.