A DRINK driver has been banned from driving for three years and ordered to pay substantial fines after damaging properties and crashing into a telegraph pole.

Richard Mark Vass, 32, was sentenced at Weymouth Magistrates Court after he was found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol and failing to stop after a collision.

He received a three year ban, was fined £1,500 and instructed to pay £1,200 in costs.

The incident took place in Gillingham in July. Officers were called at 12.17am on July 6 to a single vehicle collision in which a car hit the kerb, damaged gardens and properties and crashed into a telegraph pole.

Police found Vass' black Land Rover at the scene, and a passenger told officers that the driver had left the scene.

Vass was later found and arrested following searches.

The passenger said that they had been drinking in a Shaftesbury pub before the incident. After drinking, they got into Vass' car, who drove through the area, speeding above 80mph. When the passenger asked him to slow down, he released their seatbelt.

The two of them were taken to hospital, but neither had sustained serious injuries. While at hospital, a urine sample found that Vass had 161 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine. The legal limit is 107 milligrammes per 100 millilitres.

Inspector Simon Perry, of North Dorset police, said: "Richard Vass took the reckless decision to get behind the wheel of a car while he was under the influence of alcohol and the extent of the damage sustained by his vehicle shows he was subsequently involved in a high speed collision.

"It is only through good fortune that his passenger or Vass himself were not more seriously injured and this case is another stark reminder of the potential dangers of driving while your judgement is impaired as a result of intoxication."