A joiner who drove his van while almost six times the booze limit, and claimed he did it because he was afraid the £7,000 worth of tools in the back would be stolen, has been spared jail.
Jason Christie, who earns £50,000 a year from his kitchen fitting business, was fined £4,000 and banned from driving for four years after a sheriff told him: “Drunk drivers kill people.”
The 41-year-old – who has twice previously been caught drink-driving – was snared after police received an anonymous tip-off that he was drunk and intended to get behind the wheel of his Transit van.
He was then spotted on CCTV driving in Dundee’s Main Street before turning along Dens Road, driving along the rear of Dundee FC’s Dens Park then turning into North Isla Street.
Fiscal depute Isma Mukhtar told Dundee Sheriff Court: “Police were advised by an unknown caller that the accused was intending to drive his vehicle home. That was received at 6.30pm.
“CCTV showed him driving around 8.30pm. When he was stopped checks were carried out and it was found he didn’t have any insurance for the vehicle.
“He was breathalysed and the reading was 129 microgrammes.
“When he was cautioned and charged he replied ‘Yes, I did, guilty as charged’.”
Christie, 42, of Clepington Court, pleaded guilty to driving with 129 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath on March 30. The limit is 22 – putting him just under six times the limit.
Defence solicitor Ian Houston said Christie had driven the van home – only a five minute walk from the bar he had been drinking in – because he feared the expensive tools in the back would be stolen.
Mr Houston added: “He employs two labourers and works with a plumber and electrician for whom he supplies the work.
“His partner works in St Andrews but if he is imprisoned she will have to move out of their flat as she won’t be able to sustain it herself.”
Sheriff Alastair Brown fined Christie £4,000, banned him from driving for four years and placed him on a restriction of liberty order confining him to his home address from 7pm until 5am every day for two months on an electronic tag.
He said: “You may well find yourself lucky that you were reported to police before you killed someone.
“You were near enough six times the legal limit – that means any judgement you might ever have had had long gone down the drain in the pub.”