View Full Version : Second drinks driver to face possible car confisication

10-Jan-12, 23:39
Wick man nearly four times over, records third conviction

THE second three-times-the-limit drinks driver to appear at a Caithness court within a week, could also face losing his car as well as his licence.
William Simpson appeared from custody at Wick Sheriff Court, today, and admitted his third offence for driving with excess alcohol.
A driver travelling behind the 56-year-old, on the main A882 Watten-Wick road, on Monday afternoon, was so concerned about the manner of his driving that he contacted the police.
Officers caught up with the accused in the driveway of his home, in Janetstown, on the outskirts of Wick, and a positive test there, produced a breath-alcohol level of 136 microgrammes, almost four times the legal limit.
Sheriff Andrew Berry granted senior fiscal depute David Barclay authority to impound Simpson’s car pending further consideration of the legal issues that would be involved in confiscating his car. Drivers three times the limit could have their cars confiscated under tough new legislation.
The sheriff commented on Simpson’s reading as “very high” and noted that he had two previous convictions for drinks driving, one in 2003, the other two years later.
The sheriff deferred sentenced, pending reports and imposed an interim disaqualification on Simpson, until February 3. He will then consider the question of confiscating his car and the vehicle belonging to another driver, Ian Campbell, involved in a separate case.
Campbell, a 51-year-old oil worker, admitted driving carelessly and with more than three times the legal limit. He returned a breath-alcohol reading, after colliding with a car at a roundabout in Wick, of 117 microgrammes.
The Crown is seeking forfeiture of his car but Neil Wilson, the solicitor representing the accused, said that it would be “a disappropriate punishment”, given that the high-performance Quatro was worth £22,000.
Campbell, of Greenbraes, Keiss, was also banned, pending his return to court.
If Campbell and Simpson do lose their cars they would be the first in Scotland to suffer, under the new tough measures.
Drinks driver Stewart Mackenzie escaped the car confiscation sanction, when he appeared at Perth Sheriff Court on January 5, the first day of the new get-tough legislation. He admitted failing to provide a breath specimen after being stopped in Auchterarder’s High Street, on December 4, after he mounted the pavement.
He failed to give provide a specimen because he appeared to be sucking instead of blowing into the machine when asked to do so by police.
Fiscal depute Stuart Richardson said the accused’s 10-year-old Punto had been impounded and he asked for the court to forfeit the car, worth £700.
But Sheriff Lindsay Foulis said that Mackenzie’s car should be returned to him so he could sell it and pay the £700 fine.
The sheriff added: “It may well be that he has to sell the car to pay the fine. It is better to deal with it that way. I am tempted to say ‘Why should the state have storage costs’”.
Mackenzie was banned from driving for 18 months.
Following that case, Margaret Dekker of Scotland’s Campaign Against Irresponsible Driving commented: “This is a very contradictory approach and there is a risk that the scheme will lose any deterrent effect. The police are saying one thing and the court another. It creates confusion on the the part of the public who don’t know what’s going on.”