Livingston drink driver charged after calling police on himself
A DRINK driver from Livingston was so intoxicated that he couldn't find his car and called the police to report it stolen.
William Hunter, 61, contacted the cops soon after driving his Vauxhall Astra and leaving it in a supermarket car park.
He was charged with driving with too much alcohol in his system after police discovered his vehicle exactly where he had parked it earlier.
He appeared in court from custody the next day and was freed on bail after pleading not guilty.
But two days later he was arrested again for committing the same offence, Livingston Sheriff Court was told yesterday.
A shopper at another store called the police after she noticed he smelled strongly of alcohol then saw him get behind the wheel and drive off.
Hunter, 61, pled guilty to two drink driving charges.
He admitted driving with a breath alcohol count of 100mg – almost five times the legal limit of 22mg – in the car park of Morrison’s supermarket in Livingston on 23 October last year.
Hunter also admitted drink driving outside a Co-op store in the town’s Fulmar Brae on 25 October with a breath count of 66/22mg – almost three times the limit.
The levels of alcohol in his breath were amended downwards in both charges after the Crown accepted he had been drinking after committing both offences.
Hunter, a self-confessed alcoholic, already had a previous conviction for driving with two much alcohol in his system.
Prosecutor Rebecca Swansey told the court Hunter had gone to the store manager at Morrisons and told her someone had stolen his Astra with his pet dog shut inside.
She escorted him around the car park, but they were unable to trace his car.
Ms Swansey said the manager smelled alcohol on his breath and felt he was intoxicated, but parted company with him when he told her he was going home to report the matter to the police.
The accused returned to the supermarket 45 minutes later and complained to other staff his car had been stolen before calling the police to report the theft.
Constables who went to the scene found his Astra parked at the edge of the car park where he had left it, unlocked and insecure with his dog inside.
Ms Swansey said: “The accused stated to the constable: ‘I drove here. I’ve had a drink’. The accused was in possession of his car keys.
“He was cautioned and stated: ‘I’m drunk. I know I’m drunk’.
“He was arrested and conveyed to Livingston Police Station where he provided the reading libelled.”
Following the second incident, Ms Swansey said, police went to Hunter’s home and asked him who had been driving.
“He replied: ‘Me. I went for a lottery ticket.’” Hunter was again taken to the police station and gave a positive breath test.
Defence solicitor Paul Haran said: “The first incident on 23 October doesn’t appear to have had any – pardon the pun – sobering effect on him at all.”
Passing sentence, Sheriff John MacVicar described Hunter’s offending as “flagrant disobedience of the law”.
He said: “I have to say that uppermost in my mind is that you should be sentenced to a period of imprisonment, but I’m just persuaded that – in the public interest – an attempt should be made to rehabilitate you by means of an alcohol treatment requirement.”
Mr MacVicar also put Hunter under social work supervision for a year and banned him from driving for a total of three years.