A drink driver has been jailed for four years and eight months after causing the death of his friend. Unlicensed driver Billy Plested overturned his Vauxhall Corsa at 103mph while nearly double the legal limit on the M27 at Portsmouth, back in June 2016.
His friend, rear passenger Luke Shaw, 20, later died of his injuries three days after the incident.
Speaking after Plested, 21, was jailed at Portsmouth Crown Court, Sgt Richard Grant, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit at Hampshire police, said: ‘Had he just decided to call a taxi or a friend to pick them up, then this would not have happened.
‘This case shows just how important it is for drivers not to drink or take drugs and then drive. The consequences can be fatal and it is simply not worth the risk.’
The court heard Plested drank half a litre of spirits and lager, drinking between go-kart races with his friends in Gosport. Just 30 minutes after leaving the Castle In The Air pub in Fareham, Plested had undertaken cars, swerving and snaking on the M27.
Investigators found he over-steered, travelling 50 metres before hitting the embankment, overturning and then coming to a stop.
Fern Russell, prosecuting, said blood analysis found Plested had 147mg of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, nearly double the 80mg limit.
When a witness stopped at crash, the court heard Plested said: ‘I’ve killed my friend.’
Sentencing, judge Sarah Munro QC jailed Plested for four years and eight months.
Speaking of Mr Shaw’s family, the judge said: ‘Their devastation and feeling of emptiness in their lives are hard to overstate.’ Although Plested was charged with careless driving, the judge added: ‘Your driving was, in my view, arguably dangerous.’
In a tribute released after his death, Mr Shaw’s mother, Tracy Pearce, said: ‘He will always remain in our memories and, most importantly, our hearts.’