Trial costs accused early plea concession sheriff tells accused

AFTER being tested as well over the drinks-driving limit, a man told police officers - I don't agree I am unfit to drive".
Thomas Cock, 22, added: "I felt in complete control and my reactions were 100%".
He made the comment to officers at Wick Police Station after an intoximeter provided a reading of 55 micrograms - the legal limit is 35mgs.
Cock conducted his own defence after pleading not guilty to driving with excess alcohol on his way home from a local nightclub, but was found guilty after a trial at Wick Sheriff Court yesterday.
The police tracked the accused down to his home at Hillhead Cottage, near Lybster, in the early hours of May 25. after receiving a tip-off that he was reported to have been unsteady on his feet and slurring his words, prior to getting behind the wheel of his Ford Transit van.
Cock complied with a breath test which proved positive and was escorted by the police to their Wick station.
Constable Douglas Green said that on the way there, the accused commented that he was "an example of someone who had been able to drive home having had a few drinks" and regarded himself as having been safe to drive.
Giving evidence, Cock said he was surprised that the reading was so high and expressed the view that he didn't think the intoximeter was as reliable as a blood sample.
Sheriff Kevin Veal disagreed and commented that the modern-day intoximeters were "highly reliable".
Finding the accused guilty, the sheriff impressed on him, that it didn't matter whether how capable someone thought they were to drive, if their breath-alcohol level was over the limit, then they have committed an offence.
Sheriff Veal pointed out to Cock, that by pleading not guilty, against legal advice, and going to trial, "in the face of pretty compelling evidence", he had lost his entitlement to the statutory third discount on the fine for an early plea of guilty.
The construction worker, was fined 450 and banned from driving for a year.