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A drink driver twice over the limit ended up with his car upside down on its roof on the beach at Ganavan, Oban Sheriff Court heard on Monday.
The 55-year-old unemployed engineer from Newton Mearns had travelled to Oban for the day, in despair, after losing his job and then being told that his jobseeker’s allowance was being stopped ‘because he wasn’t trying hard enough to get a job’.
Alastair Ness, of 86 Broomfield Avenue, had a clean driving licence and no previous convictions when he sat in his vehicle in the car park at Ganavan on the night of February 3 this year.
On Monday he admitted the drink driving offence and apologised to the court for his actions.
Procurator fiscal Eoin McGinty said a witness sitting in another parked car saw Ness’s vehicle ‘manoeuvre and then disappear from view’. The car had gone over the small retaining wall between the popular public beach and the car park and ended up on its roof. Police and an ambulance were called.
‘It became obvious to the police in attendance that the accused had been drinking,’ said the procurator fiscal.
A blood sample showed a reading of 109mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood when the legal limit is 50.
Sheriff Patrick Hughes said: ‘This is a very serious offence which could have had a worse outcome.’
Saying that he had taken everything he had heard about Ness’s circumstances into account, the sheriff fined him £400 and banned him from driving for 12 months, with a 25 per cent reduction in the ban if Ness attended a driver rehabilitation course.