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Famous piper caught driving while more than four times the booze limit in Inverness

Euan MacCrimmon leaving Inverness Sheriff Court
Euan MacCrimmon leaving Inverness Sheriff Court

A world-famous bagpiper who drove his car while more than four times the drink-drive limit has been banned from the roads for a year and fined £700.

Euan MacCrimmon was spotted staggering to his Volvo SUV before getting in and pulling away.

His driving then drew the concern of other road users and police were called to stop his car, after which tests showed MacCrimmon to be more than four times the legal drink-drive limit.

World champion bagpiper, MacCrimmon, of Slackbuie Park Mews, pled guilty to a single charge of drink driving on his own street, Slackbuie Distributor Road, Sir Walter Scott Drive, Old Edinburgh Road, Castle Heather Drive and Balloan Road in Inverness.

Fiscal depute Sharon Ralph told Inverness Sheriff Court the incident began at around 8.45pm on November 25 last year, when a noise brought witnesses to a window, where they spotted MacCrimmon.

She said: “They observed the accused to be staggering. They came to the assumption that the accused was under the influence of alcohol.”

The witnesses watched as the 46-year-old got into his vehicle, started the ignition and turned on the lights, before pulling out of the cul-de-sac and onto the distributor road.

Following this, the court heard, another witness became aware of MacCrimmon’s vehicle.  “Attention was drawn to the manner in which the vehicle was being driven,” Mrs Ralph said.

‘Frankly unacceptable’

“Thereafter there was an incident involving the vehicle, which resulted in the vehicle being followed by the witnesses and them alerting police to the fact that the vehicle required to be stopped,” she told the court.

Police attended and the vehicle was stopped and drink-drive procedures followed, after which MacCrimmon was taken to the police station to be processed.

Tests revealed a reading of 103 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml of breath, the legal limit being 22 microgrammes.

‘Incredibly embarrassed’

Solicitor Cecily Kingston, for MacCrimmon, told the court that the events described represented “an isolated incident” for her client, who has been driving since the age of 18 with no previous endorsements on his license.

She said MacCrimmon, who she described as a “professional man”, had been going through “a particularly difficult time” at the time of the incident, adding: “He understands that the conduct before the court is frankly unacceptable. He is incredibly embarrassed.”

Disqualification would affect his life

Ms Kingston told Sheriff Margaret Neilson that any disqualification would “directly affect his personal life” and would impact on his ability to help out his elderly parents as he would normally.

Sheriff Neilson handed a 12-month driving ban to MacCrimmon, who is described in an online biography as “a world champion player of the bagpipes” who “enjoys travelling the world teaching this and adjudicating competitions”.

She also fined him £700.

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