An Angus man facing jail for his fourth drink-driving conviction has told a sheriff his latest offence has “destroyed everything”.
Brian Paton was spotted by police driving slowly round an Arbroath car park with the passenger door of his BMW open, late at night.
Forfar Sheriff Court was told the 37-year-old accused suffers from mental health difficulties but a sheriff had warned Paton his record for similar offences has put custody at the top of the list of sentencing options.
Depute fiscal Jill Drummond said police on routine patrol saw the car being driven in the car park at Grange Road just before 11pm on December 28.
“Alcohol bottles were lying on the back seat, the accused exited the vehicle and his behaviour appeared strange,” said the fiscal.
Paton then gave police a false name and date of birth, that of a man who was the registered owner of the car.
He was arrested and taken to Dundee Police headquarters where a breath alcohol reading of 58 microgrammes – more than two-and-a-half times the limit – was recorded.
Solicitor Billy Rennie said: “His mental health problems have contributed a lot to his difficulties.
“His last drink driving offence was 2011, but he otherwise hasn’t troubled the courts for quite a period of time.”
Paton had two convictions for drink-driving in 2002 and one in 2011, with disqualifications of one, four and seven years.
Mr Rennie said: “He has, to some extent, turned his life around.”
Sheriff Derek Reekie noted Paton’s DVLA record showed he did not possess a licence, but was told a not guilty plea to driving without a licence had been accepted in the case.
Mr Rennie added: “He has been living a normal life and believing he is entitled to drive after serving his previous disqualification.”
Paton, of Leach Close, Arbroath told Sheriff Reekie directly: “This offence has destroyed me. Whatever you decide, I accept.”
The sheriff warned him: “I’m bound to say my initial impression was that custody had to be at the forefront of my mind.
“I have heard certain things that suggest I might look at alternatives. There has been a change of circumstances and I will continue consideration for a restriction of liberty order assessment.
“I need to make it clear to you that I make no promises whatsoever what the ultimate outcome will be.”
Paton had sentence deferred until February 20 and was disqualified from driving in the meantime.