A BULGARIAN man who broke his neck in a crash while driving at nearly three times the drink drive limit, told police he “didn’t know the rules in this country”, a court heard.

Dimitar Pylatov crashed a VW Golf off the A357 in north Dorset on August 20, breaking his neck and causing severe damage to the car.

He was taken to Dorset County Hospital, where he was placed in a head brace known as a ‘halo’ and his blood was tested for alcohol.

Pylatov, aged 31, of Green Close in Sturminster Newton, was still wearing the ‘halo’ when he appeared at Weymouth Magistrates Court last week to plead guilty, via an interpreter, to charges of drink driving and driving without a licence.

He was fined more than £250.

Tests showed during the crash there was 138 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of his blood.

The drink driving limit is 50 milligrams per 100 millilitres.

Pylatov only had a provisional driving licence at the time of the crash.

There were no plates on the car and there was nobody else in the car with him.

Ian Brazier, mitigating, said: “This gentleman was interviewed by police and he accepted he had alcohol earlier in the evening, then had a sleep and then was driving to Blandford later on.

“He said as he was driving along the car skidded suddenly to the right and the collision happened.

“He accepts he didn’t have learner plates on the car and he said he didn’t know what the rules were in Britain at the time.”

Pylatov was disqualified from driving for 16 months, fined £276 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £34 and prosecution costs of £85.

The court case came as Dorset Police revealed they would come down hard on drug and drink drivers this festive season - pandemic or no pandemic.

The annual Christmas crackdown will see officers carrying out roadside breathalyser tests on anyone who commits a road traffic offence - regardless of whether drivers appear to be under the influence.

Drug wipe sample kits will be used on suspected drug drivers, providing an instant roadside indication before custody.

Inspector Joe Pardey of the Dorset Roads Policing Team said: “During last year’s Christmas drink drive campaign, officers in Dorset carried out 631 breath tests and charged 57 people with a drink drive related offence and 103 people with a drug drive related offence.

"Despite long-term reductions, drink and drug driving still accounts for 15 per cent of road deaths and almost 10,000 casualties nationally each year. We want to work with the public to not place additional unnecessary pressures on our NHS.”