Charles Laidlaw banned for drink drive crash

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A Public Relations guru who abandoned his crashed car following a drinking session has been banned from the road.

Charles Laidlaw – former head of media at the Scottish Rugby Union – ploughed his motor into a stone-built garage before leaving the vehicle and making his way home.

But the PR chief was spotted by two fellow drivers “swaying heavily” as he left his vehicle prompting them to call the police.

Officers discovered the crashed car in Gullane, East Lothian, and after making enquiries about the owner made their way to Laidlaw’s home nearby.

Laidlaw, who now runs his own PR company David Gray PR, admitted he had been driving the vehicle two hours earlier, and underwent a breath test which showed he had 90mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Laidlaw, 59, pleaded guilty to driving while under the influence of alcohol at Goosegreen Road, Gullane, on 31 July during an appearance at Haddington Sheriff Court on Wednesday. The legal limit is just 35mg.

The court was told a driving ban would “significantly affect” Laidlaw’s business, and that he was “extremely ashamed and embarrassed” to be appearing in court for the first time.

Sheriff Peter Braid fined the PR executive £750 and banned him from the road for 20 months.

But Laidlaw will be allowed to take the Vernon Mansfield drink driving rehabilitation scheme, which, if completed successfully, will see three months wiped from his driving ban.

Laidlaw was head of media at the SRU between 1997 and 2001, and, along with his own business, is currently listed as partner with PR firm Laidlaw Westmacott.