Father-of-two GP, 48, blamed ‘stressful day at work’ after drinking vodka and crashing into traffic island during 20-mile journey home from surgery – as he’s banned from road for three years
- Neeraj Singh collided with a traffic island during a 20-mile commute home
- The GP was being followed by police when he crashed in Hopkinstown, Wales
- Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court heard he was nearly three times over the limit
- Dr Singh has been banned from driving for three years and fined £2,000
A father-of-two GP blamed a ‘stressful day at work’ for drinking vodka and crashing into a traffic island in Wales during a 20-mile journey home from his surgery while more than twice the drink drive limit.
Neeraj Singh, 48, veered across the road and hit a kerb twice as he was being followed by police on a commute from Forest View Medical Centre in Treorchy, Rhondda, back to his home near Cardiff on October 4.
The GP of 15 years was banned from driving for three years at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
The court heard that Singh was around halfway through the journey when he crashed into a traffic island, causing his tyre to burst, in Hopkinstown, Pontypridd.
A roadside breath test subsequently revealed he had 96 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath – nearly three times the legal limit of 35.
Dr Neeraj Singh has been a doctor for 21 years, a GP for 15 years and a partner at the local practice for 11 years, the court heard
Singh crashed in Hopkinstown, around halfway between his place of work and his home near Cardiff
Forest View Medical Centre in Treorchy, Rhondda, from where Singh began a 20-mile journey back to his home near Cardiff
Mike Powell, prosecuting, said Singh had told officers he drank vodka ‘at the end of a stressful day at work’.
The married father added that he thought he was fully in control of the vehicle as he made the 20-mile trip home from the surgery.
Singh, of Cyncoed, Cardiff, later admitted drink driving.
Andrew Shanahan, defending, said in mitigation that the GP had been operating in ‘incredibly stressful working conditions’.
He continued: ‘He has been a doctor for 21 years, a GP for 15 years and a partner in a practice for 11 years.
‘What has happened here is a build up of incredibly stressful working conditions.
‘We are all aware of what doctors and medics have been going through in the last 18 months. They not only have their normal work but also Covid work and have to organise their practice to comply with Covid laws.
‘We have all seen the news about burn out and stress and the impact on working conditions for doctors.
Dr Singh was halfway through the 20-mile journey Forest View Medical Centre to his home near Cardiff when the crash took place
Dr Singh was disqualified from driving for three years, fined £2000 and ordered to pay costs at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates Court on Friday
‘The ideal situation is for Dr Singh to get back into work and caring for people as soon as possible.’
However, passing sentence, District Judge Neale Thomas told the court that Singh must have known he was a risk to other drivers.
He said: ‘You had a significant amount of alcohol in your system, nearly three times the limited for driving. That must have been a fact known to you when you got behind the wheel. You knew you were a risk to other road users.
‘You drove in such a poor state a member of the public informed the police. When the police found you your tyre was damaged and you accepted the collision with the street furniture.
‘You have driven that distance badly under the influence of alcohol. It is fortunate police were able to apprehend you when they did.
‘It was fundamentally a catastrophic error of judgement on your part to think you could drive that distance.’
Dr Singh was disqualified from driving for three years, fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £190 surcharge.
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