Drink driver banned

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A man who lost his job after drink-driving near his place of work has lost his licence.

Robert Antony Stephenson, 24, of 16 Arcot Avenue, Cramlington, pleaded guilty to driving a car on May 9 with 38 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, exceeding the 22 microgramme limit, on an unclassified road near Machrihanish Airbase Community Company (MACC), where he was employed to drive large lorries transporting turbines.

The fiscal told the court that at 10.30pm, the person manning MACC’s gatehouse heard a loud bang and went outside to see Stephenson emerging from the driver’s side of the car.

The watchman offered him a seat in the gatehouse and went outside to check everything was alright, and when he returned, Stephenson was gone, so he phoned the police.

Police attended at 10.40pm and traced Stephenson within MACC’s grounds and confirmed that he was the driver, after which he was taken to Campbeltown Police Station and breathalysed.

Defence solicitor Stephen MacSporran revealed that Stephenson has lost his job and knows the offence may have an effect on his future employability but added: ‘He fully understands he is fully responsible for that, and wishes to apologise to all involved. This is his first offence, and he realises the stupidity of it.’

Imposing a £300 fine and banning Stephenson from driving for 12 months, Sheriff Patrick Hughes said: ‘Disqualification is mandatory but, given the circumstances, it will be kept to the minimum.’

He added that Stephenson’s sentence will be reduced by three months if he completes a drink-drive rehabilitation scheme course.