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Forfar builder spared jail after second drink-driving conviction

Forfar Sheriff Court.
Forfar Sheriff Court.

An Angus building firm boss was spared jail for a second drink-driving offence because his business would suffer.

Craig Hill from Lunanhead appeared at Forfar Sheriff Court and admitted driving while more than three times the limit in the village of Kingsmuir on September 12 last year.

The court heard he had already been disqualified for drink-driving in Orchardbank, Forfar three months earlier on June 6.

He was banned for another two years but was told by a sheriff that his business, CBH Building Services in Forfar, saved him from going to prison.

The 25-year-old admitted giving a reading of 72 microgrammes in 100 millilitres of breath, where the legal limit is 22mics, after being stopped by police on the Dunnichen road.

Defending Hill, solicitor Bill Rennie said: “The difficulty that Mr Hill faces is considerable, regarding the nature of the charge and the previous conviction.

He hadn’t been intending to drive, it was not his vehicle but that of a colleague who had made it available.

Mr Hill got a phone call from his partner, there had been some issue between them, and he stupidly got in his car in a moment of madness.

“He’s self-employed and runs CBH Building Services.

“He employs his brother, who doesn’t drive.”

Sheriff Gregor Murray said: “It’s just about on that basis that he staggers over the line from a custodial sentence.”

Addressing Hill, Sheriff Murray said: “My first reaction was that I should be sending you to jail for this.

“That fact that you’re an employer and employ your brothers just saves you from that.

“I will impose a significant number of hours of unpaid work as a direct alternative to custody.”

Sheriff Murray imposed 200 hours of unpaid work, reduced from 220 for Hill’s early plea, and banned him from the road for 24 months.

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