Jail after heading straight to van from pub
Police were alerted after a joiner, who appeared“unsteady on his feet,”was seen leaving a Dunkeld pub and getting into his van.
Officers later traced the vehicle at Graham Hamilton’s home - and later tests showed he was more than six times over the legal booze limit.
The 43-year-old, of Muirlands Cottage, Bankfoot, was jailed for four months after Perth Sheriff Court was told it was his third drink-related offence within the past 10 years.
He was also disqualified from driving for five years and ordered to re-sit the driving test before he can get back behind the wheel.
A prosecution motion to forfeit his Ford Transit was refused after Sheriff Lindsay Foulis was told it had been sold.
Hamilton admitted driving in Atholl Street, Dunkeld - and elsewhere in Dunkeld and Bankfoot - on September 30 with 140 microgrammes of alcohol on his breath.
The maximum allowed is 22 microgrammes.
Depute fiscal Bill Kermode explained that a taxi driver who operates in the Dunkeld area - and knows the accused well - saw him in the Perth Arms bar about 6pm that evening.
At 8.15pm he was seen walking out of the Royal British Legion Bar in the town and“appeared unsteady on his feet.”
The taxi operator“formed the opinion he was drunk,”added the fiscal.
A few minutes later the Ford Transit was seen leaving a local car park and turn into Atholl Street before being lost to sight.
The vehicle was later located at the accused’s home where the engine was found to be“warm.”
Mr Kermode added:“The accused came out of his house and approached the police.
“He was unsteady on his feet and smelling strongly of alcohol.”
Solicitor Paul Ralph said the accused had“taken a tumble to himself”after the incident and had consulted his GP.
He had since been referred for treatment to Highland House in Perth.
The lawyer said he would be willing to complete unpaid work and also attend for alcohol treatment.
But Sheriff Foulis imposed the jail term, noting:“This is the third time you have been convicted within the past 10 years under the drink/ driving legislation.”
On the first occasion he had been put off the road for nine months for being drunk in charge of a vehicle and that had been followed by a 14-month disqualification three years ago.
The sheriff added:“On this occasion you were over six times the legal limit and I would have thought it’s a reasonable inference that you may have been on the A9 at some point as you travelled from Dunkeld to Bankfoot.
“In these circumstances, the loss of your liberty is inevitable.”