A drink-driver mounted a kerb and ran over two pedestrians after blowing out his tyre in a pothole on an Aberdeen road.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court had heard that Daniel Razboi was travelling along Back Hilton Road when his Alfa Romeo 156 struck the pothole and veered onto the pavement on the evening of Thursday, February 7.
The two injured parties suffered cuts and bruises to their legs and hands, but Sheriff Sukhwinder Gill said it was “sheer luck” that they were not more gravely hurt.
The case was heard on the same day that Aberdeen City Council agreed to slash the city’s pothole repair budget by £150,000.
Road safety charity IAM RoadSmart said the case proved that potholes “can cause damage to vehicles and loss of control”, but added that such instances remain “mercifully rare”.
Fiscal, Gavin Letford, said: “A group of three people had been walking south along a footpath on Back Hilton Road heading towards Ashgrove Road at 10.45pm when they saw a vehicle suddenly appear before them.
“It struck two of the pedestrians on the legs, and the third was able to avoid being hit.”
Police were called and breathalysed Razboi, who was found to have 68microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, more than three times the legal limit of 22mcg.
The 32-year-old kitchen manager, of Rosehill Court in Aberdeen, later admitted charges of “colliding with pedestrians to their injury” by driving carelessly, and driving with excess alcohol.
Defence lawyer, Laura Gracie, said Razboi had consumed three glasses of wine that night as he struggled to cope with the end of a 13-year relationship and mounting debts.
She added: “He was going to meet her that night, and took the decision to drive.
“However, he struck a fairly big pothole on the road, which he had not been able to avoid.
“He hit it and the tyre burst, he lost control and mounted the pavement.”
Sheriff Gill said: “It was sheer luck that the injuries sustained by the two pedestrians were not as serious as they could have been.”
Razboi was disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to perform 130 hours of unpaid work.
Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM Roadsmart, said: “There is no doubt that potholes can cause damage to vehicles and loss of control, but cases like this are mercifully rare.
“We can only speculate, but the pothole might have been avoided if the driver had not been under the influence of alcohol.
“These days drivers need to be constantly aware of the risk from poor driving as well as from the state of the roads.”