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Northern Irish farmer falls fouls of Scots drink-drive limit at Angus international sheep dog trials

Forfar Sheriff Court.
Forfar Sheriff Court.

A leading light in international sheep dog circles has lost his licence over a drink-drive offence during a visit to a major Angus event after being caught out by Scotland’s lower alcohol limit.

Allistair Lyttle, the Irish president of the International Sheep Dog Society was among a turnout of thousands which flocked to Shandford, near Brechin in September for the home nations championship, one of the biggest events on the sport’s calendar.

Mr Lyttle made a return visit to the area to appear at Forfar Justice of the Peace Court, where he admitted a charge of being over the drink-drive limit after dining with key figures in the competition.

Depute fiscal Laura McGillvery told the court police had been called to the Edzell to Menmuir road on September 14 in relation to a separate matter and found the accused there, standing beside his vehicle.

“He identified himself as the driver and was asked to provide a roadside breath test,” added the fiscal.

Lyttle’s count of 29 microgrammes was 7mics above the legal limit and he was arrested and taken to police headquarters, the court heard.

The accused’s solicitor described the offence as “a regrettable situation”.

“He was unaware that the alcohol limits were significantly lower in Scotland than they were in Northern Ireland.

“He would have been okay had he been anywhere other than Scotland – but the limit is the limit.

“The day in question was the international sheep dog trials in Brechin. They last three days, his dogs qualified and after the trials the owner of the land invited Mr Lyttle and his family to have dinner.

“He was slightly over the limit but understands he will lose his licence and it will cause him significant difficulties.

“His land stretches over several public roads and create difficulties in tending to his livestock on a daily basis.”

JP Andy Gourlay fined Lyttle, of Kesh, Northern Ireland £400 and banned him from driving for a year.

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