A DRINK-DRIVER who caused a collision with another car has escaped jail because of his 30-year alcohol addiction.

Anthony Futcher, of Summerleaze, Trowbridge, admitted aggravated vehicle taking, causing damage, drink-driving, driving without insurance and driving while disqualified at Salisbury Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Futcher had been out drinking with his partner on April 7 this year when she asked him to drive them home, and despite having drunk himself the 51-year-old agreed.

Prosecuting Kate Prince said Futcher was driving along College Road, in Trowbridge, when he collided with an oncoming vehicle, after Futcher turned in front of him.

Police were called and Futcher gave a breath test reading of 96 mcg: the legal limit is 35.

The court heard that Futcher also didn’t have permission to drive the car as it belonged to his partner’s employer.

Jeremy Griffiths, defending, said Futcher denied not indicating and claimed the other vehicle was driving fast. However he added that Futcher admitted to drinking before the incident.

“This gentleman is an alcoholic, he is suffering from continued ill-health. He is a man who if he drinks too much or too little it may end up in the end of his life,” he said.

The court heard that Futcher has been drinking for 30 years but that he had not been in trouble with the police for 13 years.

The bench handed Futcher a 10-week sentence suspended for 12 months. He was banned from driving for 48 months and ordered to carry out 10 rehabilitation days in a bid to sort out his alcohol problem.

Magistrate Richard Mattick said: “This is your opportunity, we have to say that anybody without your medical condition would have been sent to custody straight away.”

“If you fail to comply you could be brought back here.”