A MAN found bloodied next to a crashed car by the side of the road told police "I'm drunk," a court heard.

James Garbutt appeared at Peterlee Magistrates' Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to one charge of driving whilst over the legal drink-drive limit.

The 32-year-old crashed his car on the A167 in Newton Aycliffe on the evening of Sunday, May 17.

Laura Johnson, prosecuting, said: "Police were called to the overpass near Darlington on the A167 at approximately 21.18.

"When they arrived they found a grey Vauxhall Vectra beyond the crash barrier and a male stood on the driver's side of the car.

"Police noticed he had blood on his head and face asked him if he was ok.

"He replied 'yes, I'm drunk,' and told officers he had hit his head on the steering wheel.

"He was unsteady on his feet and slurring his speech."

A road side breath test showed the defendant had 88mg of alcohol in his breath. The legal limit is 35mg.

Garbutt, of Westgate, in Pickering, North Yorkshire, has no previous convictions and represented himself in court.

He told magistrates: "I am so sorry. I'm gutted I did it.

"I could have killed someone or I could have killed myself.

"I'm beyond lucky that that didn't happen. I'm just really sorry."

David Shallows, chair of the bench, banned Garbutt from driving for 17 months and fined him £300.

He must also pay £85 costs and £34 victim surcharge.