First person convicted under new drink drive limit

Picture: PA
Picture: PA
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ONE of the first motorists caught under Scotland’s tough new drink driving law was today handed a road ban.

Peter Shearer was caught with a drink reading over the new limit - but below the old one - just over 24 hours after it came into force.

Shearer had crashed a van borrowed from his work outside a house in Glenrothes.

He was spotted by residents leaving the driver’s side of the van and making off on foot.

Shearer was then found by a police sniffer dog, with cops spotting him getting into his father’s car and preparing to drive off.

When he was breathalysed his reading was found to be 28 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

The 27-year-old would have been in the clear had the crash happened 25 hours earlier, when the limit was still 35.

But his reading took him over the new breath limit of 22.

Fiscal depute Kyrsten Buist told Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court that the incident occurred at 12.45am on December 6 last year - just over 24 hours after the new limit came in.

She said: “The accused was a car valeter and had borrowed the van, which was due to be valeted, from his work.

“At 12.45am on December 6 residents in Mar Drive, Glenrothes, heard a crash and looked out and saw the accused exiting the driver’s side of the and made off.

“Police were contacted and a sniffer dog was dispatched.

“He was found nearby emerging from a wooded area.

“He had sustained an injury to his forehead.

“There was a cracked windscreen in the van and a DNA sample was taken from it which matched the accused.

“He was seen to get in his father’s vehicle and was stopped and detained.

“He was taken to Glenrothes police station where his drink reading was found to be 28, and it was found there was no insurance.”

Shearer, 27, of Urquhart Green, Glenrothes, pleaded guilty to charges of drink driving, driving without insurance and failing to identify the driver of the van involved in the crash.

The court was told Shearer had lost his job as a result of the incident.

Sheriff James Williamson banned Shearer from driving for a year and fined him POUNDS 900.

The sheriff blasted Shearer for denying his involvement in the incident until today/yesterday [MON] - when he pled guilty minutes before his trial was due to commence.

The court was told Shearer “had a change of heart” when DNA evidence was presented to him.

Sheriff Williamson said: “It beggars belief that you imagined you had a defence to this case.

“You were seen by people who knew you, a sniffer dog was involved and the DNA was just the icing on the cake of the Crown’s case.

“You have put witnesses and the court to an extraordinary inconvenience because you couldn’t man up and take responsibility for your behaviour.”