Man avoids driv­ing ban de­spite his 14 pints and eight whiskies

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

A CON­STRUC­TION worker em­ployed on the new retail park be­ing built in Fort Wil­liam got to keep his driv­ing li­cence, de­spite be­ing found sleep­ing off a marathon drink­ing spree at the wheel of his van.

Ai­dan Maguire, of Taigh Easlinne, Ken­tallen, had ap­peared for trial at Fort Wil­liam Sher­iff Court on Tues­day af­ter plead­ing not guilty to a charge of driv­ing on June 25 this year, in Monzie Square, Fort Wil­liam, with a breath al­co­hol read­ing of 121mg in 100ml of breath. The le­gal limit is 22mg.

Build­ing site su­per­vi­sor Maguire had fur­ther de­nied driv­ing a van which was un­li­censed.

Sher­iff Eilidh MacDon­ald heard how Maguire, 30, had con­sumed 14 pints and eight whiskies dur­ing a night out in the Vol­un­teer Arms in Fort Wil­liam on the night in ques­tion.

Giv­ing ev­i­dence un­der ques­tion­ing from his de­fence agent, Glas­gow spe­cial­ist road traf­fic so­lic­i­tor Do­minic Sel­lar, Maguire told the court he had in­tended tak­ing a taxi back to his rented ac­com­mo­da­tion at Ken­tallen af­ter the drink­ing ses­sion with a friend ended about 11pm.

Maguire, who read­ily ad­mit­ted he had been very drunk, said there had been no taxis avail­able and he had not had his mo­bile phone on him that night.

‘I then walked back to where I’d parked my van.

‘I was ex­tremely tired as I’d worked four weeks straight and was pretty drunk, so just wanted to get my head down for a couple of hours,’ Maguire ex­plained.

‘I then planned to go back to the taxi rank about 1am or 2am. But I went back to the van and passed out.’

Maguire con­firmed he had been in the driver’s seat and had put the keys in the ig­ni­tion out of habit.

He told the court he had not turned the en­gine over or even turned the keys a sin­gle click and had fallen asleep with the seat re­clined. When po­lice had found him a num­ber of hours later, Maguire was breathal­ysed, ar­rested and taken to the po­lice sta­tion.

But Maguire, who ad­mit­ted there was noth­ing un­usual in the amount of al­co­hol he had con­sumed for a night out, said un­der no cir­cum­stances would he have driven the van.

‘I have never driven be­fore when I have been like that as I have no need to,’ he said. ‘I have five men all with full driv­ing li­cences, so I have no need to be do­ing it – not when I am un­der the in­flu­ence.’

Af­ter Mr Sel­lar had fin­ished his ques­tions, Procu­ra­tor Fis­cal Martina East­wood con­ceded that the de­fence had suc­cess­fully made its case that Maguire had no in­ten­tion of driv­ing and as such she ac­cepted his plea of not guilty.

On the sec­ond charge, that of driv­ing an un­li­censed van, Maguire was fined £60 for what the sher­iff ac­cepted was an over­sight.

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