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Beer-swigging joiner caught drink-driving in McDonald’s after cancer news

A drink-driving joiner who swigged six beers after discovering his sister had cancer was caught after pulling up in a McDonald’s car park because he ‘felt drunk’.

Dariusz Konkiel was left devastated after finding out his younger sister’s cancer had spread and turned to alcohol straight after hearing the tragic news.

The father-of-two then got behind the wheel to drive home to his wife-of-eight years but travelled just one mile before realising he needed to pull over.

READ MORE: Dad’s disgust as evil son who terrorised dying mum to be ‘freed early from jail’

Staff at the Halesowen eatery where he stopped then took the keys of his red Volvo from him before calling cops for help at about 11.30pm, Dudley Magistrates’ Court was told.

Konkiel, who claimed he ‘rarely drinks’, was arrested after failing a roadside test – with police later confirming he was three times over the drink-drive limit.

He revealed to interviewing officers he had swigged five or six beers before parking up at the McDonald’s, in Bromsgrove Road.

The 56-year-old has now been banned from the roads for two years.

He had 99mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.

Konkiel – who has been in the UK for 15 years – had been working on a painting and decorating job when he received a call from his 55-year-old sister in Poland.

She had told him her cancer had spread and he turned to alcohol as he was ‘upset’.

His sister is still ‘not very good’, the court was told on November 25.

Mr Cooke, defending, said: “His initial intention was to stay overnight at the address he was working at but he decided to go home to his wife.

“He travelled approximately one mile down the road and realised he was not in a fit state to drive so he pulled over in the McDonald’s car park.

“He made a very poor and bad decision in emotional distress. He does not have a drink issue, he very rarely drinks.”

Konkiel – who earns £350 a week, had no previous convictions, the court was told.

Sentencing, lead magistrate Mr Pearson said: “This is a very serious offence. You were three times over the legal limit.

“You could have caused serious injury or even death to other people on the roads.

“Your reading was 99mg in 100ml of breath. If that reading had been 21mg more, you would now be going to prison for three months.

“That is how close you have come to being sent to custody.”

Konkiel – who admitted driving a motor vehicle when alcohol level above limit – was handed a 12-month community order and a two-year driving ban.

The drink-driver, of Bright Steet, Darlaston, was also ordered to carry out 180 hours unpaid work, as well as pay a £95 victim surcharge and £135 costs.

BrumWish 2021 aims to get thousands of Christmas gifts to young children in need across our city – the homeless, the vulnerable, kids in care and kids who have little.

This year’s appeal is bigger and better than ever – because we have teamed up with our partners at #Toys4Birmingham, including Thrive Together Birmingham, the Birmingham Playcare Network, the Edgbaston Foundation and Birmingham Forward Steps.

Also involved are Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Barnardo’s, Spurgeon’s children’s charity, the Springfield project in Sparkhill, St Paul’s Community Development Trust and Your Local Pantry, which runs food hubs in 12 locations across Birmingham and the Black Country.

You can buy a gift from the #Brumwish Amazon Wishlist here.

Or you can collect and drop off donations of new and nearly new toys and gifts to special donation days at Edgbaston Stadium, B5 7QU, on Saturday November 27, Friday December 3 and Saturday December 4, from 11am to 3pm, where volunteers will be waiting to see you.

Brand new or nearly new, unwrapped gifts, books and toys for all ages will be accepted.

You can also donate cash, which will go into a fund held by a charity partner to use to plug gaps or buy specialist toys for children with additional needs. This is the link to make a donation.

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