M1 drink driver given 11 years for causing death by dangerous driving

|News, Driving offences

A drunk driver who caused a fatal collision on the M1 in Nottinghamshire has been jailed for 11 years.

Adrian Radu (28) caused the collision in the early hours of 24 March 2018. He drove erratically along a stretch of the M1 while significantly over the legal alcohol limit. He braked unnecessarily several times before doing what witnesses described as 'a U-turn' in the carriageway and colliding with a van. One of the van’s passengers, Mark Downham, was fatally injured in the collision.

Radu was tried at Nottingham Crown Court, but pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving on the second day of his trial. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison, banned from driving for 13.5 years and ordered to take an extended retest.

Janine Smith from the CPS said: “Cases involving dangerous driving are based on the culpability of the driver. We have demonstrated to the court the extremely high culpability in this case. The CPS made representations to the court that this was in the most serious category of cases of causing death by dangerous driving, because of the prolonged period of bad driving and the gross impairment caused by the amount of alcohol in his system. The dangerous driving included slowing down and stopping on the motorway as well as well as the manoeuvre that ultimately caused the fatal collision. We highlighted to the court a number of Adrian Radu’s previous convictions.

“The sentence handed down today shows just how serious this offence was, and serves a reminder of the serious consequences of drink driving on other road users. Adrian Radu made the decision to drive despite being banned from driving and despite having consumed the quantity of alcohol he had. His actions resulted in the tragic death of Mark Downham and I would like to offer Mr Downham’s family my sincere condolences.”

Notes to editors

  • Janine Smith is Chief Crown Prosecutor at CPS East Midlands
  • Adrian Radu had already pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to driving while over the alcohol limit; dangerous driving; driving while disqualified; driving without insurance and failing to stop after a road accident.

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