A DRINK driver who crashed into two parked cars in an Andover street had been ‘talked into’ giving a friend a lift home, a court has heard.

Daniel Brutu, of Galahad Close, Andover, had been drinking at a pub near his former South Street home on the evening of December 26.

During the early hours of the following morning, a friend asked for a lift back to Southampton and, after initially refusing, Brutu was later talked into doing so.

But shortly after leaving his house the 23-year-old accidentally accelerated when he intended to brake, sending him crashing into cars parked on the roadside.

At Basingstoke magistrates court on Tuesday, January 14, he was disqualified from driving and made to pay a total of £404.

During the hearing the court heard how Brutu had walked to and from a pub near his former home on South Street with the intention of not driving at all that night.

After drinking at least three pints of beer he headed home at around 1.10am on the morning of December 27. A friend asked him if he could give him a lift back to Southampton, and Brutu initially said no.

But he later “changed his mind”, his solicitor said, and returned home to get the keys to his BMW – which he had only purchased on Boxing Day.

Brutu then started driving down South Street to collect his friend, but before he could reach the end of the street he crashed into a BMW, which in turn rear-ended a Volkswagen Touran, smashing the boot, rear headlights and windscreen.

Officers reported to the scene at around 1.30am and were told by witnesses that a man had been seen fleeing the scene.

The defendant himself later confirmed he had panicked and gone home, where he smoked a cigarette on his sofa but did not consume any more alcohol.

He then returned to the scene where he handed himself in to the police. After a breath test, he was arrested and taken back to the police station, where he gave a positive reading of 72 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

The legal limit is 35.

Brutu’s solicitor told the court on Tuesday that the defendant had since shown great remorse.

She said: “Ever since it’s happened he’s thought about what awful consequences could have occurred and how grateful he is that none of them did.”

As well as a charge of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol, the 23-year-old pleaded guilty to driving without the correct insurance.

His solicitor explained how in Romania, his country of birth, drivers insure a car or vehicle, rather themselves, and therefore there was an “element of a mistake about what he tried to do”.

In sentencing, magistrates handed Brutu an 18-month disqualification from driving, although he will be allowed to take the driver’s awareness course, which could result in a slightly shorter disqualification period.

He was also fined £287 for driving without the correct insurance policy. Magistrates made him pay a £32 victim surcharge and £85 in costs, taking his total bill to £404.