Trucker crashed into lorry on M1 sliproad after downing vodka at work

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A trucker got a suspended jail term after downing vodka at work and crashing into the back of another lorry on a motorway slip road. Graham Sams, 58, was banned from driving for 18 months and must spend ten rehabilitation days with probation officers. His eight week prison sentence[2] will be suspended for a year.

Nottingham presiding magistrate[3] Anthony Burton sat with two colleagues and told him: “We can only imagine the carnage which could have happened if you had got as far as going onto the main carriageway of the M1. “It is a very serious matter but we think the package we have put together adequately deals with the matter.”

Read more: Driver handed jail sentence after ferret died in hot car[4]

Sams replied: “Thank you, sir.” A government surcharge of ?115 and ?85 prosecution costs were ordered from Sams of White Road, Mere, Wiltshire. He pleaded guilty to driving a Mercedes articulated lorry on the M1 junction with the A610 at Ilkeston[5] on January 20.

He had 78 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35. Finn Butler, mitigating, said Sams had never been in trouble before and told the JPs: “He is in his late fifties, doesn’t have a drink problem as such but decided to buy a bottle of vodka to consume.

“This is the effect of undiagnosed emotional difficulties. He recognises he has issues which need to be dealt with and is willing to engage the services of those who are prepared to provide for him. “He was co-operative with the police and is extremely remorseful, as was shown when he pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

This should be considered to be a one-off incident.”

Read more: Three Nottingham teenagers charged after multiple bank robberies[6]

He said the driving ban would affect the family’s finances while custody would have “a significant impact not only on the defendant but upon his wife and son”. A probation report said Sams bought the alcohol because he “felt unwell and had low mood. He showed victim awareness and realises things could have been much more serious and other people could have been killed”.

The court heard that nobody was hurt when he ran into the back of the other lorry.

Sams’s disqualification will be cut by 136 days if he completes a course on the dangers of drink driving.


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  3. ^ Nottingham presiding magistrate (
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  5. ^ Ilkeston (
  6. ^ Three Nottingham teenagers charged after multiple bank robberies (

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