Jail af­ter head­ing straight to van from pub

Perthshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Court re­porter

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.”

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