A drink-driver who killed a pet dog by crashing into another car on the wrong side of a busy Perthshire road was found to be almost five times over the legal limit weeks after passing his test.
Children in the car watched as their dog took its dying breath after being crushed in its basket as a result of the high speed impact with Peter Fleming’s car.
Fleming, who had “glazed eyes and slurred speech”, was so drunk at the wheel he accused his innocent victim of being on the wrong side of the road.
Fleming, 36, of Victoria Street, Glasgow, admitted driving dangerously in his Vauxhall Corsa while he was under the influence of alcohol on the A93 Perth to Blairgowrie road on July 23 2017.
He had qualified as a driver in April last year.
He admitted repeatedly driving on the wrong side of the road and crossing a double white line on a bend and colliding with Michael Payne’s Toyota Aygo.
Fleming, Mr Payne and another passenger were injured and the family dog was killed.
Depute fiscal Carol Whyte told Perth Sheriff Court yesterday Fleming ignored warning signs and crossed double white lines to end up in the opposing carriageway.
“The Paynes were driving in the opposite direction to the accused,” Ms Whyte told the court.
“The family dog was in a basket on the rear seat.
“The accused was driving north in a Corsa at 3.45 pm. A driver behind him thought he was driving erratically and crossing between the lines.
“The accused travelled at speed across the double white lines and collided with Mr Payne’s vehicle on the southbound lane before coming to a stop.
“Michael Payne had no time to react and there was significant damage to both vehicles. Mr Payne and one of his passengers had pain to their neck and legs.
“The accused got out of his car and asked Mr Payne what he was doing on his side of the road. They thought the accused had slurred speech and a glazed look.
“A boy in the car checked on the dog and saw the basket had been completely destroyed. The dog was lying with laboured breathing, and passed away a short time later.”
Fleming gave a roadside breath reading of 106 mics – almost five times the 22 mics limit – but a subsequent formal test was not properly recorded.
Solicitor Stuart Hamilton, defending, said: “He wants to apologise for the upset and anguish this incident caused them, with the loss of the dog and the injuries.”
He told the court Fleming was involved in an argument after a party and drove off to “cool down” without considering how far over the drink limit he was.
“He has been candid that he was still drunk,” Mr Hamilton said.
Sheriff Lindsay Foulis banned Fleming from driving for three years and ordered him to carry out 275 hours of unpaid work in the community.
The sheriff told him: “Once this collision takes place, you have no control over the consequences.
“Fatal injury could have been caused to the humans.”