A drink-driver who caused this Christmas Day crash was found pretending to be asleep nearby.
Steven Stewart, 26, crashed his red Ford Transit van into the back of another car on a dual carriageway in the early hours of Christmas morning.
Police found the drain cleaner pretending to be asleep on the front seats of his damaged van in a nearby layby.
He claimed he had been parked for five hours despite obvious damage to his van and its tyres and engine still being warm.
Stewart finally admitted to having “loads to drink” in police custody after failing a roadside breath test on the A24 near Horsham, West Sussex.
He pleaded guilty to driving with 76mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath – more than twice the legal limit of 35mcg – and failing to stop after being involved in a road traffic collision.
He was banned from the roads for 20 months after admitting drink driving and failing to stop after a collision at about 12.30am on Christmas Day 2018.
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “The collision involved a green Skoda Citigo, which was struck from behind on the A24 close to Buck Barn services, Horsham.
“Police were called to the incident about 12.30am on 25 December and located a red Ford Transit van parked up in a layby some 600m away. It had damage to the front nearside which was consistent with being in collision with the rear offside of the Skoda.
“The sole occupant of the van was identified as Steven Stewart, a drain cleaner, of Kingsmead Place, Broadbridge Heath. He was found lying across the front seats of the vehicle and pretending to be asleep.
“When asked how he got there, he claimed he parked up five hours previously. However, the engine and the tyres were warm, suggesting the vehicle had been driven very recently.”
Stewart also got a 12-month community order to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
He was ordered to pay £332 compensation, £200 costs and a £85 victim surcharge at Worthing Magistrates Court on February 20.
By Berny Torre