A SPEEDING drink-driver has been banned from the roads for the third time after he was clocked doing 116mph on Christmas Day.

Don Hellaoui, 27, was two-and-a-half times over the drink drive limit when he smashed the speed limit on the A66 at Darlington, in the early hours.

Hellaoui, of The Avenue, Middlesbrough, had been at a Christmas Eve party and believed the only way he could get home was to drive, Darlington magistrates heard.

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David Maddison, prosecuting, said Hellaoui drove his Nissan Qashqai so fast past police officers, who were dealing with another motorist by the side of the road,  they had to shout a warning to the person to step back.

He said: “They had pulled a motorist to one side and were speaking to them.

“In doing so an officer noticed his [Hellaoui’s] vehicle drive past them at what they felt in excess of 100mph.

“Given the speed, the officer had to shout to those at the roadside to step back.”

Darlington magistrates heard that when he was later stopped and breathalysed, he had 91mg of alcohol in his breath. The legal limit is 35mg.

Hellaoui, who was banned in 2003 and 2005 for drink driving, had pleaded guilty to the same offence at a previous hearing and returned to court for sentencing today (Thursday, January 10).

He said: “I take full responsibility. This, for me, goes beyond just a mistake and it certainly won’t be happening again.”

he was banned from driving for three years and sentenced him to a 12-month community order with 12 months supervision and 100 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Inspector Ed Turner of Cleveland and Durham road policing unit said: "If the driver had not been stopped we could easily have been conducting an investigation into a fatal crash.

“And at the time of the offence we were in the middle of the usual high-profile campaign aimed at deterring drink-drivers, so there is absolutely no excuse for putting lives at risk in this way.

"Those who drive irresponsibly across Durham and Cleveland will be caught, and dealt with appropriately by the courts."