A three-time drink-driver who works in a pub crashed into a parked van has been fined £1,700 and banned from driving for five years.

Darren Thomas Hind lost control of his Mercedes at Sulby Bridge while he was more than twice the legal limit.

After the 41-year-old pleaded guilty to the offence, magistrates also ordered him to take an extended test at the end of his ban.

Prosecuting advocate Rachael Braidwood told the court that police were called to the accident on September 17 at 11.30pm.

When officers arrived they found Hind’s black Mercedes had collided with a stationary white van which had been significantly damaged.

The Mercedes was partly in a ditch and Hind had made off from the scene.

Police searched for him and found him a short distance away.

He was described as exhibiting signs of drunkenness and had the car keys with him.

After being taken to police headquarters, he failed a breathalyser test with a reading of 92.

The legal limit is 35.

During an interview, Hind, who lives in Andreas village, admitted he had been driving the car and said that he had been in a pub beforehand.

He could give no explanation for having chosen to drive but said that he was just glad that nobody was hurt.

The court heard that he has convictions for drink-driving in the UK in 2007 and 2011.

Defence advocate John Wright asked for credit to be given for his client’s guilty plea, entered at the first opportunity, and his co-operation with police.

Mr Wright said that Hind was in charge of the pub kitchen at the Grosvenor where his wife was the licensee.

Hind said that he had been attending a real ale festival at another pub on the night in question.

Mr Wright said that his client still held a UK licence as he had come to the island just before the Covid pandemic and had not had time to sort it out.

Magistrates chair Ken Faragher told Hind: ‘Frankly Mr Hind, working in the licensing trade you more than anybody else should realise the situation about drink-driving.

‘Three drink-driving offences within 15 years made us seriously consider whether you had crossed the custody threshold.

‘We have decided not to go down that route but it was a very close decision.’

Hind was also ordered to pay £125 prosecution costs which he will pay, along with the fine, within six months.