A STEAM roller driver was branded “spectacularly stupid” after he was spotted drinking a bottle of Buckfast as he drove along a busy motorway.
Thomas Dow was seen necking the notorious tonic wine from the bottle as he drove a van load of colleagues more than 100 miles during the rush hour.
Horrified police officers pulled Dow over after spotting him driving at speed with one hand on the steering wheel and the other holding the wine bottle.
Perth Sheriff Court was told that Dow had been drinking juice in the van with his workmates but started drinking Buckfast when that ran out.
Thomas Dow, 31 and from Inverkeithing, Fife, admitted drink driving on the southbound carriageway of the M90 on 24 October last year.
Fiscal depute Stuart Richardson told the court: “It was 5.30 pm and police saw the van being driven by the accused on the M90. There was an obvious reason to stop him.
“He seemed to be drinking from a bottle as he was driving so they pulled him in. They smelled alcohol. The breath test machine was not working so they had to take a blood sample.”
Dow, who was described as a specialist driver who was qualified to work on road rollers, gave a reading of 94 milligrams of alcohol in 100 mls of blood. The limit is 80 mls.
Solicitor Jonathan Matheson-Dear, defending, said: “It was extremely irresponsible, not only to be driving under the influence, but to be drinking while he was driving.
“The circumstances are that he had been working in highway construction with a company up north and he was travelling home with colleagues in the works van from Aberdeenshire.
“He had been working for six months and was driving home after a period. His friends had been drinking in the vehicle,” Mr Matheson-Dear said.
“At first he had been drinking juice, and stupidly he picked up the Buckfast bottle and consumed a significant proportion of that. It was highly irresponsible behaving in such a fashion on the motorway.
“He will suffer the consequences because he will not be able to return to the employment he had. He is very candid about his remorse and shame for the stupidity on his part.”
Sheriff William Wood banned Dow from driving for 12 months and ordered him to carry out 100 hours unpaid work in the community.
The sheriff told him: “I take a very dim view of this sort of behaviour. Clearly, it was a spectacularly stupid thing for you to do, to be drinking while you were driving.
“You were responsible not just for yourself, but also the lives of the people in the van with you.”