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Man found snoring in car four times limit keeps his licence

George Simpson was discovered snoring in his vehicle having crashed it into a ditch.
George Simpson was discovered snoring in his vehicle having crashed it into a ditch.

A man found snoring at the wheel of a crashed car while more than four times the drink-drive limit has clung on to his licence.

Forfar sheriff Pino Di Emidio used his discretionary powers to allow George Simpson to stay on the road after the 43-year-old’s guilty plea to being in charge of the car on a back road near Arbroath last September.

Simpson, of Hill Road in Arbroath, appeared for sentence yesterday having previously admitted that on September 27 last year on the unclassified road between Woodville Mews and Denhead of Arbirlot he was in charge of a 2007-registered car while with a breath alcohol reading of 95 microgrammes, against a legal limit of 22mics.

The plea to being in charge of the car was an alternative to driving the vehicle on that date.

Depute fiscal Jill Drummond told the court that around 1am police received a call to say that a car had crashed into a ditch and the driver was still in the vehicle.

They arrived on the scene and Simpson could be heard snoring inside the car, with the headlights of the vehicle still on.

“It was clear that the accused was fine, but he was sleeping and initially tried to ignore police,” said the fiscal.

“He was helped out of the vehicle and police immediately smelled alcohol and he was unsteady on his feet.”

When subjected to the breath test procedure, Simpson provided a lower reading of 95mics, the court was told.

Defence solicitor Lynne Sturrock asked the sheriff to use the discretionary powers available and allow Simpson to keep his licence.

She submitted a company reference, adding: “He is well regarded by his employers, but his job will ultimately be lost if his licence is taken from him.”

The court heard Simpson did have a previous record, including an analogous conviction from a decade ago.

Ms Sturrock added: “He appreciates the seriousness of the situation he is in, and that the accident was not more serious for him and others on the road.”

Sheriff Di Emdio fined Simpson £2,000 be paid at £300 per month and imposed 10 penalty points on the accused’s licence.

He told Simpson: “The court requires to mark the seriousness with which it views this offence and you can consider yourself lucky that you have not been disqualified.”

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