As we come into the drink driving season (are we ever out of it?) a judge said he was unable to protect the public from a “deadly” drink driver because of sentencing limits.
Days before police forces began their annual clampdown on boozed up drivers Recorder Stephen Lowne said Abeer Hussain, 29, was a “death in waiting” and that it was a “tragedy” he could not jail the drunk for more than 27 months.
Hussain, of Cuthbert Road, Winson Green, Birmingham, had three previous convictions for drink driving when he appeared at Birmingham Crown Court for a fourth on November 26.
With previous convictions for drink driving from 2006 and 2014, Hussain was charged with dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and drink driving in May this year.
While awaiting sentence for those offences he was arrested drunk behind the wheel again in November and jailed for 16 weeks by Birmingham Magistrates for drink driving and driving while banned.
Both times he was around twice the legal limit.
He was jailed by Recorder Lowne for 21 months for dangerous driving, three months for drink driving and three months for driving while disqualified.
All of those terms are to be served on top of the 16 weeks handed down by the mags on November 9.
But as he jailed Hussain, the Recorder said it was a “tragedy” he couldn’t lock up serial drink driver for longer in order to protect the public from his lethal habits.
Recorder Lowne said: “It is a tragedy I can’t protect the public by imposing a sentence that is deserved because of the maximum limit for offences of dangerous driving.
“I have no hope whatsoever that you will reform, that once released you won’t get drunk and get behind the wheel of a car.
“You are a death in waiting. You have no concern for other road users, no concern for public safety.
“You are arrogant, as many who drink drive are, thinking only about yourself, putting yourself behind the wheel which in the hands of someone like you is a lethal and deadly weapon.
“You are deadly, there’s no other word for it. This is an overwhelming case.”
Hussain, a sales rep, was seen driving on Reservoir Road in Birmingham at around 3am on May 12.
When police pulled him over he apologised before driving off on the wrong side of a dual carriageway forcing oncoming traffic to swerve out of his way.
Eventually finding his damaged car, officers found Hussain spread-eagled on the floor pretending to be asleep.
Imposing a seven year driving ban, Recorder Lowne went on: “If you have any feeling for your fellow citizens you will not drive until you have sorted out your drinking.
“That I cannot do anything about.
“The only heartache I have is for your victim in waiting.
“Unless you sort yourself out you will kill someone without a doubt.”
Geraldine Toal, defending, said: “He looks after his 52-year-old mother and was the sole financial support for his mother and brother.
“The family are disapproving of his behaviour.
“He has had issues with alcohol and maybe a period of abstinence will help.
“His driving was not good, he accepts that but mercifully there were no injuries.”