A budding airline worker said his dream career could be over after he drove to a police station while four times the legal alcohol limit – in someone else’s car.
Jarryd Clifford told Perth Sheriff Court he will have to rethink his plans for the future after an emergency trip to the Pitlochry station ended in a criminal conviction.
The 31-year-old said he had been “an absolute fool” to drive off in a Renault Clio belonging to a relative of his partner, without their knowledge, after breakfast-time drinks in June 2020.
He drove it to the local police station after he was turned away for treatment from the town’s community hospital, the court heard.
Fiscal depute Andrew Harding said Clifford, originally from South Africa, was staying with his partner in the Highland Perthshire town at the time.
“It was about 11am and the accused had been consuming quantities of alcohol alone at his home address.
“When exiting the property he hurt himself on a pane of glass, causing a laceration to his arm and finger.”
Clifford dialled 111 for medical advice and was told to attend at a local medical centre for treatment.
Mr Harding said: “He went to the community hospital in Pitlochry, where he was advised to go to an A&E unit or attend at the local police station.”
Clifford drove to the police station and pulled into the car park, where an ambulance was called.
As paramedics tended to his arm, police ran a check on the vehicle.
They discovered Clifford did not own the car, was not insured to drive it and only had a South African driving licence.
He was asked to submit two urine samples.
These were analysed and found to contain 269 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of urine, with 67 mg being the legal limit.
Addressing the court by videolink and without a solicitor, Clifford, of Atholl Road, Pitlochry, said: “There was no justification for what I’ve done.
“It was obviously a stupid, stupid mistake.
“Regardless of the outcome today, I will have a criminal record and that will have a detrimental affect on my plans for a career working for airlines.”
He said: “This has been not only distressing for myself but for my whole family.
“If I could take the time back, I would have just called 999 and asked for an ambulance to come to the house, instead of driving to a police station like an absolute fool.”
Community service and ban
Sheriff Gillian Wade said the incident appeared to be “very out of character” for first-time offender Clifford.
She told him: “You accept that this will affect your career prospects, particularly in the career you were wishing to pursue in the airline industry.
“But this was a very high reading indeed, and that needs to be reflected.”
Clifford was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, and banned from driving for two years.