Drunken trucker sent to prison after crashing lorry in town

Zoltan Lux, who crashed a lorry in Leyland while nearly four times over the drink drive limit
Zoltan Lux, who crashed a lorry in Leyland while nearly four times over the drink drive limit
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A Hungarian lorry driver who was nearly four times over the drink-drive limit when he crashed into a road sign at 11.30am in Leyland has been jailed for eight weeks.

Zoltan Lux, 56, was handed a 32-month road ban following the incident on a Tuesday morning in Leyland.

Police were called to Preston Road after Lux crashed the lorry near the junction with Moss Lane and the Railway pub on January 14.

Officers found him slumped in the driver’s seat and asked him to take a breath test.

They discovered he had 136 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of his breath. The legal limit is just 35 microgrammes.

Lux, of Szolari Street, Kotse, Hungary, did not give a British address when he pleaded guilty at Chorley Magistrates’ Court to drink driving.

Magistrates said the offence was “so serious” because of the manner of his driving, the time of day and the possible danger to other road users.

They said a road ban was obligatory and disqualified Lux from holding or obtaining a driving licence for 32 months.

However, they said they wouldn’t make an order for court costs because the driver didn’t have the means to pay.

A councillor today slammed the punishment and said Lux should have been banned from driving for life.

Leyland Central county councillor Matthew Tomlinson said: “Driving with excess alcohol in your system is both dangerous and socially unacceptable.

“I wouldn’t normally comment on a sentence passed down by the courts but to me when you present this level of danger to the public, a ban of less than three years isn’t sufficient.

“You’re causing a clear and present danger to people’s lives if you’re driving a big unit like that and you are almost four times over the limit.

“They ought to be taking your licence off you forever because the potential for causing serious harm is so big.”

Amy Aeron-Thomas, executive director of RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims, said the guidelines for sentencing in cases such as this needed overhauling.

She said: “Driving is a permitted and licensed activity – not a right – and driving ban guidelines are overdue for review.

“There is strong public support for long driving bans for drink drivers, with 75 per cent support for five-year bans for first-time drink drivers. “RoadPeace has called for driving bans to be given much more often and for longer periods, with lifetime bans for the most serious offenders.

“It is difficult to find a more serious offender than that of a lorry driver grossly impaired through alcohol.”