Now, while any good friend would try and stop an inebriated buddy from getting behind the wheel, few perhaps would resort to grievous bodily harm. Not so for one Teeside man who broke his pal’s jaw and cheekbone to stop him driving off while drunk.
25-year-old Darren Cotterill punched Steven Combellack, not because he was overly concerned for his safety, but that of his passenger, a mutual friend of the pair who had previously been in a severe road accident.
Cotterill was said to have been “petrified” at the thought of the woman being involved in another crash and so took the drastic step of assaulting his friend to stop him driving off, reported The Northern Echo.
Combellack claimed he had no intention of driving anywhere, but that the pair were merely sheltering in his car from the rain while waiting for a taxi following a house party.
Teeside Crown Court heard that the three revelers attempted to walk back to the party when Combellack fell ill following a sharp smack to the chops.
He was taken to hospital where he underwent surgery for a broken jaw and fractured cheekbone.
The incident didn’t seem to sour relationships between the two friends, who later shook hands. Combellack also refused to cooperate with a police investigation into the incident.
This didn’t stop Cotterill being prosecuted for inflicting grievous bodily harm, a charge he admitted, resulting in him being handed down a nine month suspended prison sentence.
Passing sentence, Recorder Michelle Heeley, said: "This would possibly not have happened if you had not been, in your own words, mortally drunk.
"I look at the responsibilities you have as a father and as a partner, sending someone like you to prison would not actually be punishing you, but would be punishing your family more."
Cotterill was also ordered to pay £200 in compensation and £100 costs.