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Bulgarian drink-driver in Fife thought having a few beers was ‘perfectly acceptable’

Krasimir Popov appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.
Krasimir Popov appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

A Bulgarian drink driver caught at more than three times the limit on a Fife road claims he thought it was OK to drink a few beers and drive as this was “perfectly acceptable” in more “familiar cultures”.

Krasimir Popov, 59, was stopped by police after being seen very slowly attempting to carry out a three-point turn in a Renault Clio in Lumphinnans.

Procurator fiscal depute Sean Maher told Dunfermline Sheriff Court: “He (a witness) heard the engine being excessively revved and saw the car moving in what was described as a juddering fashion.

“Mr Popov was found to be sat in the driver’s side in what is described as a state of disorientation.

“When the witness attempted to engage with him he seemed of the view that Mr Popov was clearly intoxicated as his speech was slurred and eyes glazed.”

Popov appeared from custody and admitted the drink-driving charge.

He pled guilty to driving a car on Ochil View, Lumphinnans, after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in his breath was 79 mics/22, on February 24 this year.

Cultural differences

Defence lawyer Christopher Large said: “Mr Popov realised this was a foolish act and while ignorance of the law is no defence, he tells me he felt perfectly sober and had consumed a few beers.

“And in cultures he is familiar (with), being from Bulgaria, he thought this was a perfectly acceptable amount to drive with.”

Mr Large said his client had a “misunderstanding” of culture.

The solicitor said his client, of Allan Park in Hill of Beath, had been working at a factory near Glenrothes but has been on sick pay since January after suffering a violent attack.

Sheriff Susan Duff fined Popov £500 and disqualified him from driving for 12 months.

Popov also previously admitted a separate offence of behaving in a threatening and abusive manner by acting aggressively, shouting and screaming towards a woman and threatening her with violence, on May 3 this year.

Sentence has been adjourned until June 22 for the production of a background report and Popov was released on bail.

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