A MOTORIST who caused a head-on collision while under the influence of prescription drugs has been banned from driving for nearly four years.

Paul Kay, 46, had to be cut free from his Mercedes Benz after it struck a Renault Clio in West Auckland Road, Darlington, on August 18 last year.

Kay, of Clowbeck Court, Faverdale, Darlington, had taken class C drugs Temazepam and Diazepam before getting behind the wheel.

He suffered a broken arm and serious back injuries in the collision.

Darlington Magistrates’ Court today (Thursday, December 13) heard Kay drove on the wrong side of the road on a bend between West Park Drive and Westgate Crescent before hitting the other vehicle.

The impact of the collision spun the Clio around 180 degrees and left its driver with cuts and bruises.

Kay pleaded guilty to driving while unfit through drugs, driving without due care and attention and driving without third party insurance.

He also admitted a separate charge of failing to provide a blood sample when he was detained by police on August 24 this year.

The court heard he refused to let officers carry out a test when a breathalyzer machine had broken.

Callum Terry, mitigating, said Kay was on prescribed medication and took the bend too wide, but had not been speeding.

He said Kay later became anxious with police when they asked for a blood sample, because he feared they would take it from his groin.

He said: “He was cut from the car and taken to hospital as he had quite significant injuries, and a blood sample was taken from his groin area while he was being treated.

“After he was detained on August 24, he blew into a police machine but there was an issue and it wouldn’t work.

“He thought he had a genuine reason not to give blood because was concerned about them taking it from his groin again.”

Chairwoman of the bench, Sue Snowden, banned Kay from driving for 46 months and gave him a 15-week prison sentence, suspended for a year, for driving under the influence of drugs.

He was also given a four-week suspended sentence for failing to provide a blood specimen, and offered a place on a driving rehabilitation scheme.