Perthshire Advertiser

Crashed car while over limit

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The continuing coronaviru­s lockdown was said to have taken its toll on a Highland Perthshire man.

So Jack Ward (23) took his BMW out for a drive in the early hours, Perth Sheriff Court was told.

But he had been drinking and ended up crashing into the wall of a guesthouse near Aberfeldy.

He was still more than three times over the legal alcohol limit almost three hours after the smash.

His“stupid mistake”cost him a £500 fine and a 13-month driving ban.

Ward had also lost his job during the COVID-19 crisis and was“struggling”to find another knowing he faced an inevitable disqualifi­cation, his lawyer told the court.

Ward, of Inverinan House, Glenlyon, admitted driving on the B846 AberfeldyR­annoch road, at its junction with Coshievill­e, on April 12 this year with 72 microgramm­es of alcohol on his breath.

The maximum allowed is 22 microgramm­es.

A not guilty plea was accepted to a second charge of failing to stop after the accident and give his name and address.

Depute fiscal Lisa Marshall said the accused had been behind the wheel of his BMW and smashed into the wall of the Coshievill­e Guest House around 2.20am.

“The occupier of the guesthouse heard a loud bang and went out to investigat­e,”she explained.

The police were contacted and Ward failed a roadside breath test an hour later.

The drink-driving procedure was carried out at 5.15am, giving a reading of 72 microgramm­es.

His solicitor said:“It was an error on his part and he apologises for that.

“This happened during the lockdown and that played a part.

“I think he felt isolated at home, had a few beers and wanted to go out.”

Ward had been driving for six years and had never been in any previous trouble.

The lawyer asked that his client be considered for the drink-driving rehabilita­tion scheme.

Sheriff Neil Bowie told him:“This was extremely reckless.

“You purposely went out to drive, having consumed alcohol, putting other road users at risk.”

Despite the high reading, which was taken a“considerab­le”time after the accident, the sheriff said he was prepared to give the accused the chance to take part in the scheme.

He will have to meet the £150 cost himself but, if he satisfacto­rily completes it, he will get his ban cut by three months.

Ward will pay the penalty at £50 a month.

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