A DRUNKEN joyrider who drove a six-tonne dumper truck with a top speed of 12mph along a motorway, after stealing it from Edinburgh’s tramworks, has been banned from driving for 27 months.
Learner driver Joseph Kelly crossed the Forth Road Bridge and veered erratically across the M90 while he was more than double the drink-drive limit.
Kelly, 25, helped himself to the massive dump truck after finding the keys in the engine in Edinburgh city centre.
He then set off on a 30-mile trek to try and get home to Stirling and was more than halfway there when he was eventually stopped by the police.
Perth Sheriff Court heard how Kelly, whose erratic driving was reported by several early morning commuters, had already driven around 20 miles when he was arrested near Kinross.
Kelly, who clambered into a building site in Coates Crescent, Edinburgh, to get the truck, also admitted driving with a provisional licence and no insurance.
Sheriff William Wood told Kelly: “I take a very dim view of this course of conduct which was a potentially very serious incident indeed.
“It is more by luck than judgment that a serious accident did not occur. You were driving a dumper truck without a licence. You were over twice the legal limit.”
Sheriff Wood told Kelly the public had to be protected from his behaviour and he was disqualified for 27 months and placed on a community payback order. He was told to complete 210 hours’ unpaid work.
Kelly, 25, of Princes Street, Stirling, admitted drink-driving the Benford Front Dumper on the A977 Kinross to Kincardine Bridge road, close to Kinross, and various other roads, on July 4 this year.
Fiscal depute John Malpass told the court: “At 7.30am police were contacted in relation to a vehicle being driven erratically on the M90 motorway heading north. Officers from Kinross attended and searched for the vehicle. They observed it on Station Road in Kinross and stopped it.
“They spoke to the accused and detected a strong smell of alcohol from his breath. It was a dumper truck he was driving.”
Solicitor Frazer McCready, defending, said: “There is very little I can add by way of mitigation . . . He came into possession of the vehicle when he had been out drinking.”