A two-times-the-limit Angus drink-driver who was previously involved in a fatal accident in his native Poland has been banned from the road again.
Michal Kaczmarowicz was stopped during a routine early hours check by police as he was making his way home from a birthday meal with a friend in Brechin.
The 48-year-old, who has been in Scotland for more than a decade, admitted being above the legal limit when he appeared at Forfar Sheriff Court.
During the hearing it emerged he had spent eight years behind bars and been disqualified for 10 years in his homeland.
Depute fiscal Laura McGillvery told the court Kaczmarowicz was pulled over around 2am on September 21 and gave a breath alcohol reading of 48 microgrammes, just over twice the limit of 22.
Defence solicitor Nick Markowski said his client had been convicted of careless driving in Poland in 2001 in an incident which involved the death of another person.
“He has been settled here for 10 or 11 years and works in the same industry, rearing pheasants and partridges,” said Mr Markowski.
“The inevitable disqualification will have an impact on his employment.”
Mr Markowski said the date of the incident was of some significance.
“Because of his previous experiences he does not normally drink alcohol, but it was his birthday and he went to his friend’s restaurant, had three or four drinks and drove a short distance home,” he said.
“I would ask that this matter be dealt with in isolation. The case in Poland was a significant time ago, with a substantial punitive element.”
Sheriff Derek Reekie noted the accused had only a provisional UK licence but was told he had been driving on a full Polish licence.
The sheriff told Kaczmarowicz: “Clearly I note from the previous convictions one of a similar nature in Poland in 2001 with very serious consequences.
“That obviously demonstrates the dangers of anyone driving with excess alcohol. I take into account the fact you have driven in the UK for eight years with only a relatively minor speeding offence, but I am not persuaded the minimum period of disqualification is appropriate.”
Kaczmarowicz, of East Mill Road, Brechin, was fined £600 and disqualified for 18 months. The ban was discounted to 12 months in light of his pleading guilty to the offence at the earliest opportunity.