A POLE who tried eating pizza while drink-driving down Tadcaster Road late at night has been banned from English roads for two years.

Jacek Stepien's journey home ended with him impaling a friend's car on railings near the Askham Bar Park & Ride roundabout, York magistrates heard. He told the court he had never applied for a driving licence.

Steven Ovenden, prosecuting, said that the 28-year-old Pole was more than two-and-a-half-times the legal alcohol level.

Speaking through an interpreter, Stepien, of Kingsland Terrace, off Leeman Road, York, pleaded guilty to drink-driving, driving without insurance and driving without a licence.

He was banned from driving for two years, and fined £150 with £50 costs.

Mr Ovenden said police found Stepien sitting in the driver's seat of an Opal Cavalier with Polish numberplates at 3.15am on June 4. The car was impaled on the railings of a pedestrian crossing in Tadcaster Road near the roundabout.

Officers were unable to give him a roadside breath test because he could not speak English and they were not sure he had understood them, but at Fulford Road Police Station, he took the test which gave a reading of 92 millilitres of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

For Stepien, Mark Thompson said the car belonged to a friend with whom Stepien was living while in this country.

The car was insured, Polish style, which is different from English insurance. Polish cars are insured without reference to particular drivers. But the insurance did not cover Stepien because he had not taken his driving test.

On June 4, Stepien had been to a disco and had foolishly decided to drive home after initially planning to take a taxi. He had picked up a pizza on route, placed it on the front passenger seat and was trying to eat it while driving along. He may also have been driving too fast.

He had waited in the car after the crash for 15 to 20 minutes until the police arrived.

Stepien had never been in trouble with the police and was in full-time work in this country.

Updated: 10:55 Monday, June 20, 2005