A ‘hair of the dog’ Angus delivery driver who decanted vodka into a bottle of Irn Bru on the job has been put off the road for 14 months.
Terrance Barker was reported to bosses by a shocked colleague who saw him swig the booze during a delivery run, then storm from the offices of Black’s of Brechin when he failed a random breath test on the return to base.
The 60-year-old then claimed to police his over-the-limit reading was due to an off-licence and pub visit after he went home on the bus, but the story failed to square up and Barker admitted he had been behind the wheel when almost three times the legal drink drive limit limit.
At Forfar Sheriff Court, Barker, of Ferry Street, Montrose pled guilty to driving in Brechin Business Park and on various other roads on March 8 with a breath alcohol reading of 59 microgrammes – the legal limit is 22.
Depute fiscal Bill Kermode said a colleague had noticed a strong smell of alcohol from Barker when they were out on a job, before the accused stopped for a bottle of Glens vodka, poured it into a bottle of Irn Bru and drank from it.
The two employees were asked to submit to a random breath test by the company and while the colleague’s was negative, Barker blamed a positive test on medication he was taking, before storming out.
Another worker saw his car was missing from the car park and police were contacted.
Depute fiscal Bill Kermode said police later stopped the accused walking near his home. He smelled strongly of alcohol and his speech was slurred.
Barker claimed to have been drinking at Montrose’s Neptune Bar, but staff confirmed he had not been in the premises.
Defence solicitor Nick Markowski said: “He had a heavy drink the previous night and was feeling extremely rough to the extent he needed, as it is colloquially called, a hair of the dog.
“His bad day got worse, and then his worst day got horrific when police became involved.
“He has lost his employment and is aware he will now lose his licence,” said the lawyer.
Sheriff Gregor Murray told Barker: “You drove for quite a while with what must have been an even higher reading.”
He fined the accused £450 and disqualified him for 14 months.