Arbroath drink driver’s no lights shopping trip lands him with driving ban and unpaid work

© DC Thomson

An Angus learner driver’s boozy trip to the shops in the pitch dark has landed him a 12-month driving ban.

Steven Bruce Livingstone Findlay, 20, Strathairlie Avenue, Arbroath, was also ordered to perform 90 hours of unpaid work within 12 months.

The “genuine first-offender” was driving the vehicle with no lights on when he was pulled over by police at 2.45am and breathalysed.

Findlay admitted driving with excess alcohol (68 mics) on September 30 at Grant Road, Cairnie Street and Cairnie Road in Arbroath. The legal limit is 22 mics.

He also admitted driving without displaying L-plates and without insurance.

Depute fiscal Bill Kermode said police on patrol observed a vehicle being driven with no lights on.

“The matter was brought to the accused’s attention and he was breathalysed which proved positive,” said Mr Kermode.

“He was then taken to police headquarters for further tests which resulted in the reading indicated on the charge. It was also revealed that he had no licence or insurance in place.”

Defence agent Brian Bell said his client was “embarrassed” to be appearing in the dock.

He said: “He had been drinking a fair quantity and stupidly he decided to drive one of his friends’ cars to the local shop and came to the attention of the police because his lights were not activated. He is a genuine first-offender.”

Mr Bell said Findlay was studying bricklaying at Dundee and Angus College.

He said when his client has finished college he will need a licence to get a job.

Mr Bell said Findlay’s only source of income was an educational maintenance allowance which was supplemented by an payment from his mother.

“As you can imagine his mum is not best pleased with him and will not be paying any fine – not that his mother should have to pay his fine,” said Mr Bell.

He appealed for leniency on his client’s behalf and the opportunity to undertake the drink drive rehabilitation course.

Sheriff Jillian Martin-Brown said: “I take into account what has been said on your behalf by your solicitor.

“I take into account you are a first offender, that you have shown remorse and that you have pled guilty at the first opportunity.”

Disqualifying Findlay for 12 months and imposing a 90 hour community payback order, the sheriff said the ban could be reduced by three months if Findlay completes the drink drive rehabilitation course.