A Lochaber salmon hatchery manager lost his job and house after he was caught by police almost three times the drink-drive limit in his company 4×4 in the early hours of the morning heading home from the pub.
William Downs, 33, then of Shielfoot, Acharacle, told Sheriff Eilidh MacDonald at Fort William Sheriff Court that he had been drinking with friends in the local hotel bar and had every intention of leaving his vehicle in the hotel car park and walking the four miles home to his wife and daughter.
Downs, now of an address in Newarthill, Lanarkshire, added: “But the weather had become bad. It was raining and I foolishly decided to drive instead.”
He has re-trained since the incident last July 7 and was now a self-employed digger driver earning £400 a week.
Fiscal Robert Grieve said police were on mobile patrol in the area and decided to stop Downs’s vehicle but lost sight of him. However, they tracked him down 15 minutes later and he failed the breath test.
He was taken 40 miles to the police station in Fort William but the breath-alcohol measuring machine failed to work properly so at 3am a blood sample was obtained from the driver which gave a reading of 131. The maximum legal limit is 50.
Downs, who admitted the offence, was fined £500 and banned from the roads for 16 months.Sheriff MacDonald told him that if at his own expense he completed the drinks-drive rehab course the driving ban would be reduced by four months.