A DRINK-DRIVER who almost ploughed into pedestrians on a pavement was caught again just two months later after crashing his new Mercedes into the central reservation of the A31.

Michael Kirkhope, 29, was first arrested on November 18 2018 when his Skoda Octavia was seen veering across Ringwood Road in Ferndown.

Two people called 999 after spotting the car, which was travelling towards Trickett's Cross, swerving around. The car hit the crash barrier and then almost hit a cyclist before braking suddenly to avoid hitting stationary vehicles ahead.

Last week, Kirkhope, of Barns Road in Ferndown, admitted two counts of drink driving at Poole Magistrates' Court.

Richard Withey, prosecuting, said the Skoda swerved into oncoming traffic on its dangerous journey before "mounting a kerb and almost colliding with two pedestrians and a tree" in Turbary Road.

"The pedestrians had to jump out of the way," he said.

Police arrested Kirkhope in the bedroom of his home. He "presented as drunk" and there were "empty alcohol cans around the bed", Mr Withey said.

Tests revealed the defendant had 287 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, meaning he was more than three-and-a-half times the drink-drive limit.

On January 18 this year, Kirkhope was arrested again after a crash on the A31 near the Palmersford Roundabout.

Mr Withey said police were called at 10am after a Mercedes was involved in a 'single-vehicle collision'.

"Police were contacted by a member of the public who said they had witnessed a collision. The Mercedes lost traction and span out of control," he said.

"Kirkhope was in the driver's seat. There was extensive front-end damage to the vehicle, part of which was on the carriageway and part of which was on the verge."

The defendant told police he had owned the Mercedes for around a month. He failed a roadside breath test and was found to have 101 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of his breath – 2.8 times the limit.

Kirkhope admitted he had been "stupid and reckless", but said he suffers from an alcohol problem, the court heard.

He was made the subject of a community order, under which he must comply with a rehabilitation activity requirement for 20 days and carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the next 12 months.

He was also ordered to pay costs and a surcharge and banned from the roads for 36 months.