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Nwicker60
20-Apr-15, 07:49
Accused had developed tolerance to alcohol sheriff court is told
POLICE officers couldn't believe a drinks-driver's breath-alcohol reading, at first, because it revealed he was almost FIVE times the legal limit.
But Michael Moreland's result of 116 micrograms - the legal limit now is 22 mgs - was accurate, Wick Sheriff Court heard. Moreland, 57, was said to have built up a tolerance to alcohol during his time in the armed services.
He admitted attempting to drive his car with excess alcohol. Police, acting on a tip-off, located the accused in Castlegreen Road, Thurso, on March 26. Moreland was in the driver's seat and the vehicle engine was running.
David Barclay, prosecuting, said that it appeared as if the accused intended to drive and would have done so, but for the appearance of the police.
Solicitor Diane MacFarlane said that, initally, officers thought the breath test was such a high reading, it "must be a mistake".
She went on: "My client developed a high tolerance for alcohol during his career in the armed forces and can consume considerable amounts of alcohol without it having any apparent effect."
Ms MacFarlane told the court that he had a day off work and went for a drink with a friend. She went on: "He is deeply ashamed at appearing in court and bitterly regrets placing himself in this situation. He is now coming towards the end of his working life and perhaps not adjusting as well to the prospect of retirement."
Sheriff Andrew Berry, who noted that Moreland had a previous, similar conviction, said that Moreland fell into the category of person who should have known better.
The sheriff, who saw a background report, continued: "It is quite clear that you have put a great deal into the community throughout your life and I am bound to take that into account. Anyone who repeats such an offence usually ends up with no alternative to a prison sentence but I am satisfied that is not required in this case. However I want you to understand that the sentence I am imposing could not be repeated."
Moreland, of 30 Howburn Road, Thurso, was fined 1000 and banned from driving for three years. Sheriff Berry rejected a prosecution motion for forefeiture of the accused's car.