A four-times-the-limit OAP’s dangerous drink-driving on a notorious Tayside road was revealed by his own dashcam after he crashed into another car but could not remember anything about the accident.
Footage recovered by police showed inebriated 74-year-old James Bowman spent 16 minutes weaving around the A923 from Blairgowrie heading towards Dundee last September in an offence his solicitor admitted was “as bad as it can be”.
Bowman has now been put off the road ahead of sentencing next month after a sheriff warned the Blairgowrie pensioner every option would be considered by the court in view of the seriousness of the offence.
The accused, of Ashgrove Court, Blairgowrie appeared before Sheriff Derek Reekie at Forfar Sheriff Court on Tuesday where he pled guilty to charges of dangerous driving and being behind the wheel with excess alcohol.
The offence took place on September 25 last year on the A923 between Blairgowrie and Muirhead, with Bowman admitting he repeatedly crossed the centre line of the road, failed to maintain a safe distance to other cars, struck kerbs and then hit another car coming in the opposite direction near Tullybaccart.
Depute fiscal Laura McGillvery said another motorist had called police around 5pm to report Bowman’s erratic driving.
Officers then found the accused beside his car, bearing the private registration J7 BOW, at the roadside having sustained damage to its wheels and bodywork.
“He stated to police that he felt fine but was tired because he had driven from Oxford recently,” added the fiscal.
After providing a positive roadside breath test, Bowman was arrested and taken to Dundee Police HQ where he gave a reading of 90 microgrammes – just over four times the legal limit of 22.
Ms McGillvery added: “A dash cam was on the screen and the memory card was retrieved and revealed 16 minutes of footage of the driving recorded in the charge.”
Defence solicitor Brian Bell said: “There is no issue taken with the dashcam footage.
“He veered onto the other side of the road frequently and luckily there were no cars coming in the other direction, otherwise there would have been a head-on collision.
“There was a collision, he drove on and doesn’t recall that collision.
“It is fair to say it is as bad as it can be.
“He’s 74 and recognises there will be a significant disqualification but he does intend to re-apply for his licence.”
Deferring sentence until next month for a background report and tagging order assessment, Sheriff Reekie imposed an interim disqualification, branding the offence “pretty serious stuff”.
He told Bowman: “It is always very sad to see someone of your age appearing before the court but with the combination of driving in the manner you did and with a high level of alcohol the court is going to have to take a serious view.”