A HIGH-FLYING professional risked his reputation and was banned from the roads after being caught drink driving.

Mark Stuart Allison had been drinking at a corporate event where the “alcohol was virtually free” before coming home and arguing with his wife.

Fearing “something stupid would happen” otherwise, he extracted himself from the row and drove away, crashing into a parked car shortly afterwards.

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Allison, of Langholm Crescent, Darlington, was left bloodied and bruised and subsequently arrested after being found to be more than twice over the drink driving limit.

He pleaded guilty to drink driving at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court on Thursday, where he was referred to as a “bloody idiot” by his solicitor.

Terry Hamer, mitigating, urged magistrates to reduce an automatic driving ban to below recommended guidelines because, he said, Allison had been punished enough.

He said the 44-year-old feared losing his job, being unable to travel to see his children and had tarnished his reputation at work and with his family.

Mr Hamer said: “He had to say to his parents that he’d been arrested for driving with excess alcohol and that takes a lot.

“No matter how old you are, if you have to tell mam and dad you’ve done something stupid, it’s extremely difficult to deal with.”

Chair of the bench Anthony Edger – who said Allison could have killed someone - did not reduce the recommended ban and disqualified Allison from driving for 17 months.

He was also ordered to pay £965 in fines and costs.