A MOTORIST was banned for 18 months yesterday after his drink-driving caused an accident which he failed to report.

Alexander Hynd Smith, 53, was driving a Ford Transit van in Moorlands Road, Darlington, when his driving caused Maxwell Turnbull to swerve and crash on his Vespa scooter.

Magistrates in Darlington heard how Smith pulled into the Moorlands Surgery car park, where Mr Turnbull told him he had just caused an accident.

But Smith, who lived in Darlington at the time, drove off without leaving his details.

Police went to his home and a breath test proved positive.

Laura Saunders-Jerrom, defending, said Smith was a self-employed haulier and was under pressure because of his failing business.

He had driven all night, but had gone home and had a drink before realising he had forgotten to collect his angina spray, so he drove to collect it.

"He got out of the van when he saw the scooter driver fall to the floor to check he was okay," she said.

"He did not stop at the scene of the accident because he had not realised he should have stayed."

Smith, of Livingston, Scotland, admitted drink-driving, driving without due care and failing to report an accident. Magistrates banned him for 18 months and fined him £100.