'Sleepwalking' drink driver avoids jail after crashing car at 100mph
A drink driver who crashed his car at 100mph has avoided jail after telling a court he was sleep walking.Marine engineer David Hamnett, 47, downed whiskey and wine before getting behind the wheel of his Volvo S40.
He travelled 150 miles and reached speeds of up to 100mph before hitting another car and slamming into a motorway's central partition.
Hamnett was cut free from the wreckage wearing just a T-shirt and jogging bottoms. He was twice the drink drive limit.
But he told a court he had been "sleep driving" and had slept-walked to his car and headed off on his usual weekly commute to Devon from his home in Ormskirk, Lancs.
Hamnett said he must have been asleep during the entire drive before the crash which happened in Worcestershire in the early hours of July 9, 2011.
He told Shrewsbury Crown Court he put the clothes on to go to bed and woke up to find himself in the smash 150 miles away on the M5.
But Dr Idzikowski, director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, said it was "highly unlikely" he could have snoozed behind the wheel without crashing for two hours.
Judge Peter Barrie accepted he had a genuine sleeping disorder and that Hamnett may have got into his car while asleep.
But he said he had likely carried on with the "pointless" journey after waking up.
He was found guilty of dangerous driving and handed a twelve month community order, banned from driving for six months and ordered to take an advanced test.
Judge Barrie said: "This was a highly dangerous incident at high speed, weaving on a motorway and causing an accident in which you and the occupants of another car suffered significant injuries.
"It could have been much worse and an aggravating feature was that you were well over the drink drive limit."