A gardener nearly crashed into an unmarked police car on a major north-east route while driving drunkenly along the wrong side of the road.
Gordon Bain was four times the alcohol limit when he swerved onto the wrong side of the carriageway on the A96 Aberdeen to Inverness road between Inverurie and Blackburn – veering directly towards the police car.
His solicitor, Debbie Ginniver, said Bain, of Hallhill Road in Johnstone, was struggling with a drinking problem at the time of the incident following the death of his sister.
The female officer had to swerve to avoid Bain smashing into her vehicle, and watched as he reversed then went the wrong way around a roundabout.
Fiscal depute Lynne MacVicor told Aberdeen Sheriff Court the incident occurred at around 1.10am on August 26.
Bain pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving under the influence when he appeared at court yesterday.
The 33-year-old was caught in his black Renault Trafic work van shortly after the officer called for back up when he pulled into a layby.
A roadside breath test was carried out and this confirmed Bain was driving drunk, with 88 microgrammes of alcohol in his breath when the legal limit is 22.
Ms Ginniver said Bain was now unemployed and in receipt of benefits but was “in a position to restart employment” working with his uncle.
“He understands that by pleading guilty today he will lose his licence but this will not affect his employment in the future,” she added.
“At the time of the incident he was struggling with alcohol dependency. His sister passed away in April after a long battle with breast cancer and they had a close relationship.
“He understands it is a serious offence and apologises for his behavior.”
Bain’s solicitor said he had since sought help for his alcohol issues, referring himself to a psychiatrist and other professionals.
Sheriff Ian Wallace said: “I’ll deal with this on the basis that you have a clean licence and I’ll take into account the circumstances at the time.”
He disqualified Bain from driving for 16 months and ordered him to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.