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Motorist crashed company van down Speyside embankment while more than four-times the limit

Hamish Couttie leaving Elgin Sheriff Court.
Hamish Couttie leaving Elgin Sheriff Court.

A Moray motorist who crashed a work van down an embankment while heavily over the legal alcohol limit has been banned from the roads for two years.

Hamish Couttie needed hospital treatment after plunging his employer’s Toyota Hilux down a slope on the B9014 Dufftown to Drumuir road on March 2.

He later compounded his driving errors by refusing to take a breath test and struggling with police in hospital.

Yesterday the 21-year-old was sentenced at Elgin Sheriff Court after it emerged he had been nearly four times the limit while behind the wheel.

The reading was finally taken more than three hours after the accident took place.

Defence solicitor Matthew O’Neill revealed the Dufftown motorist had since been sacked from his job.

Fiscal Rowena Carlton told the court Couttie had called his brother and father shortly before 3am, having crashed the van.

When the motorist was traced he was taken to Dr Gray’s Hospital, having appeared “dazed” at the scene.

Within the accident and emergency department, he swore at police officers and initially refused to give a breath sample, before later providing one at 6.30am.

Miss Carlton said: “At that point the police constables in attendance told him he would be cautioned and arrested.

“The accused ripped off medical equipment attached to him and struggled violently with the police, which required them to restrain him for handcuffs to be applied.”


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Breath tests found that Couttie had 83 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is just 22 microgrammes.

Defence solicitor Matthew O’Neill said his client was “deeply embarrassed” about the incident.

He said: “The decision to drive the vehicle was made while under the influence of alcohol. It’s clear that had an impact on his decision.

“He accepts he should have made a better decision and apologises fully to the police for his behaviour.”

Couttie, of Balvenie Street in Dufftown, was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work, banned from driving for two years and placed under supervision for 12 months.

He pled guilty to charges of drink driving, driving with no insurance, failing to cooperate with the breath test procedure without reasonable excuse and obstructing two police constables by struggling violently with them.

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