A Hilton drink-driver who was almost three times the legal limit crashed into traffic lights after mounting a kerb, a court has heard.

Paul Chatha, of Derby Road, crashed his vehicle in Warwick Avenue, Derby, between its junction with Burton Road and Uttoxeter Road, Southern Derbyshire Magistrates heard.

He caused damage to the traffic lights due to the force of the impact, prosecutor Peter Bettany said.

The court was told the 40-year-old blew an initial reading of 92 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath when tested at the roadside. The legal limit is 35.

However, when he was taken to St Mary's Wharf police station he was unable to give a second sample.

Handing Chatha a two-year road ban, District Judge Jonathan Taaffe said: "I am concerned that this is your second conviction for offences related to drink-driving, although I accept your last one was 16 years ago.

"I have also read positive references about you but nevertheless I cannot ignore that you were heavily over the legal limit when this road traffic collision occurred."

Mr Bettany said police were called to Warwick Avenue at 11.20pm on November 3. He said: "The accident that Mr Chatha caused saw his car mount a kerb, then a central reservation and collide with traffic lights.

"The force of the impact saw some of the street furniture exposed and witnesses called the police. The defendant was found at the roadside and he gave a positive breath sample of 92.

"But at the police station he did not provide a breath sample."

Chatha pleaded guilty to one count of failing to provide a specimen of breath when directed.

Andy Cash, mitigating, said his client had provided a lengthy medical report from his doctor which revealed he suffered from breathing difficulties.

Mr Cash said: "This was not a wilful refusal to provide a specimen of breath."

As well as the road ban, Judge Taaffe fined Chatha £450 and ordered him to pay £85 prosecution costs and a £45 victim surcharge.

Derbyshire police are currently running their annual Christmas drink-driving campaign.

As part of it, the force has produced a video which tells the story of a road collision caused by a drink-driver that leaves several people seriously injured and one dead – all told using children's toys.

The constabulary has also enlisted the help of children to provide voices for the dialogue, based on the real-life radio chatter that takes place between the emergency services at scenes of fatal collisions.

Sergeant Steve Hughes, from the roads policing unit, said: "If someone gets behind the wheel while drunk, they put themselves at serious risk of harm and even death, and what they have to think about is that they have family and friends who will then forever associate Christmas with their death.

"Nobody should see that as acceptable, and my hope is that people will take the message on board and help keep themselves and other road users safe."