A former soldier who was caught drink-driving in Elgin faces a fight to keep his new business alive.
William Pattinson, 25, set up his own carpet cleaning company a cost of around £4,000 after being discharged from the Army earlier this year.
Police were given a tip-off in the early hours of April 6 about the erratic way in which Pattinson’s Fiat Doblo work van was being driven around Elgin. He was stopped and arrested while driving to his mother’s house after a night out.
The Afghanistan veteran appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court yesterday and was banned from driving for 15 months and fined £500 after admitting to the offence of driving with excessive alcohol.
The court heard that over an hour after being detained a blood sample was taken, which showed Pattinson had 117 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in his system.
Fiscal David Morton said: “They thought he smelled of alcohol, and a roadside test provided a positive result.”
Brent Lockie, the solicitor representing Pattinson, said his client’s decision was “foolish” and came after an unexpected chain of events.
He said: “My client left the Army in March, and bought a van and equipment to set up a business as a self-employed carpet fitter. That day, he had been working at a hotel in Keith that is partially closed down and being renovated.
“When the accused went to have dinner, he bumped into some old friends and ended up having five bottles of beer with his meal.”
Mr Lockie then told the court that Pattinson returned to the hotel to do more work but found himself locked out, even though he was supposed to be sleeping there. His own home was being refurbished, therefore he was unable to return there, so he attempted to sleep in the hallway.
“That was very cold though,” said Mr Lockie, “And he made a foolish decision to drive to his mum’s house in Elgin.
“That was an error of judgment on his part, but he said he felt ok to drive.”
Mr Lockie then pointed to the “strong commendation” he received after completing his time in the Army and Pattinson, of Dunnyduff Road, Keith, later admitted a drink driving charge.
Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov offered Pattinson the chance complete a rehabilitation course, thereby reducing his disqualification to one year.
Pattinson intends to keep his Moray Mobile Carpets and Vinyl business going by taking jobs that do not require him to drive.