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in recent drink driving news, a Scottish gamekeeper has been banned from driving for 14 months after pleading guilty to drink driving – but is just as worried he may also lose his gun licence.

Perth Sheriff Court heard that David Carnegie, 46, intended to move his vehicle the short distance from his home to a nearby car park in an “ill-judged” move that caught the attention of police officers.

Deputy fiscal Michael Sweney explained: The accused came to the attention of police officers at about 7.45pm. He was stopped by them and they carried out a roadside breath test, which was positive.”

Later tests showed Carnegie to have 115mcg alcohol per 100ml breath, where the legal limit in Scotland is 22mcg.

Defending, Louise Wade said that her client was more concerned with the effect a conviction would have on his shotgun licence.

“He lives at the locus with his wife. They are not very big drinkers but on this occasion had been having a number of drinks.

“They had been shopping and stopped the car outside the house to unload.

“He decided, rather stupidly, to move his vehicle from outside the house to a car parking area nearby and wasn’t intending to move it any further.

“He felt it was a safer location. It was a spur of the moment decision. It was an ill-judged move.

“He is a gamekeeper and his main concern is his shotgun licence… police have taken them away and he is trying to get them back.”

Sheriff Derek Reekie admitted he was “sceptical” of Carnegie’s reasons for driving.

He said: “This was not a morning-after offence and you must have known you were unfit to drive.”

Carnegie pleaded guilty to drink-driving on Field of Refuge, Comrie, and was banned from driving for 14 months and fined £600.

LEARN MORE: If you would like to know more about our drink driving defence services and how Freeman & Co. can help your case, just click the link.


Drink Driver Who Lost Control On M6 Found By Police In Ditch

North Staffordshire Justice Centre has heard how a police patrol found a drink-driver in a drainage ditch after losing control of his car on the M6.

Mark Watts, 28, lost control of his car and officers found him sat in the driver’s seat of his vehicle next to the motorway. He fell out of the car into the drainage ditch, after which they smelled alcohol on his breath.

Following a positive roadside breath test, further tests showed Watts to have 97mcg alcohol per 100ml breath, almost three times the legal drink-drive limit of 35mcg.

Moira Bell, prosecuting, told the court that police were asked to attend the scene of a single vehicle road traffic collision on the southbound carriageway of the M6 at 9.15pm on February 17.

“When they arrived they saw the car in a drainage ditch. There was one occupant in the vehicle. He was in the driver’s seat and was attempting to start the engine,” she said.

“As police approached the vehicle he fell out the driver’s seat into the ditch. Police could smell alcohol on his breath. He provided a positive roadside breath test and was taken to the police station where he was breathalysed and gave a reading of 97 micrograms of alcohol.”

Mitigating for Watts, Angela Trafford said it had been a very costly decision for him as the car, for which he was still paying, is now a “write off”.

She went on to add that he had been brought up by his grandparents and his grandfather is terminally ill.

“On this day he turned to drink and decided to get into his car,” she said.

“He can’t for the life of him give a good reason why he did that. He got into difficulty. He could have hurt other people. He has demonstrated extreme remorse.

“This has been a huge wake-up call and he has not drunk any alcohol since.”

After hearing Watts plead guilty to drink-driving, magistrates banned him from driving for two years and imposed a fine of £540, as well as ordering him to pay £135 costs and a £54 surcharge.

His ban may be reduced by 24 weeks if he completes a drink-drivers rehabilitation course.

LEARN MORE: If you would like to know more about our drink driving defence services and how Freeman & Co. can help your case, just click the link.


Drink Driving Handyman Banned For 15 Months

A man has been banned from driving for 15 months after being pulled over outside a school and found to be over three times the legal drink-driving limit.

Police in Duns, in the Scottish Borders, pulled over 53-year-old Alistair Gourlay after seeing that the front of his vehicle was damaged with smoke and steam coming from under the bonnet.

The handyman, from Galashiels, confessed that he had been involved in an accident earlier in the day.

Police recorded a reading of 71mcg alcohol per 100ml breath. The legal drink-drive limit in Scotland is 22mcg.

Graham Fraser, Procurator fiscal, said: “The worrying thing is that he had driven from Galashiels to Duns while more than three times the legal alcohol limit, but still felt able to drive.

“Some smoke was coming from the vehicle, which had been damaged in an accident, but he was still driving until the police pulled him over outside Berwickshire High School.

“The fact that this man was in this state and the vehicle was in that state raises concerns.”

Mitigating for Gourlay, Ed Hulme said that his client had drunk heavily the night before, but believed he would be OK to drive.

After pleading guilty to drink-driving, Gourlay was banned from the roads for 15 months and ordered undertake 60 hours unpaid work.

LEARN MORE: If you would like to know more about our drink driving defence services and how Freeman & Co. can help your case, just click the link.


Drug Driver Banned For Four Years After Caught Five Times In Five Months

Basildon Magistrates Court has heard how a 39-year-old man was caught drug-driving five times in as many months between July and November last year.

Shane Rawles was first stopped just after midnight on July 1, 2017, at Nethermayne, Basildon. A roadside test showed him to be driving under the influence of both cocaine and cannabis.

The same result was returned on September 20 when he was pulled over in Stanford-le-Hope just before 6pm. He was also found to be carrying both cocaine and heroin.

Eight days later in Pitsea Rawles was stopped again because his driving was causing concern. Once more he tested positive for cannabis and cocaine. He was arrested again in Pitsea just over a week after that on October 6, and once more failed a roadside drugs test.

Finally, four days thereafter, his car activated an ANPR camera (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) in the Benfleet area. Another roadside drugs test showed him to be driving while under the influence of cocaine and cannabis, as well as in possession of cocaine.

Southern Roads Policing Unit’s PC Simon Newman said: “The length of disqualification given by the courts highlights the seriousness of Rawles’ offending. A driver who is a danger to the public has now been removed from the roads for four years. I only hope he takes this time to get the support he needs for the future.”

Rawles pleaded guilty to 10 counts of drug-driving (five cannabis and five cocaine), two counts of possession of cocaine, and one count of possession of heroin. In addition to the four-year ban, he was sentenced to nine weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay £365 as well as complete a six-month drug rehabilitation programme.

About Freeman & Co.

Freeman & Co. are a specialist firm of road traffic and criminal defence solicitors based in Manchester but with nationwide coverage.

Freeman & Co. specialise in a wide variety of road traffic cases, ranging from drink driving, speeding and mobile phone offences, to name but a few.

The firm was created by Nick Freeman, who has been dubbed “Mr Loophole” by the press for his technical legal ability and robustly challenging the prosecution.

Nick is well regarded as an expert road traffic lawyer and has successfully represented many high profile clients for a variety of motoring offences as well as criminal offences.

The firm of Freeman & Co. embodies the way Nick works, with minute attention to detail and challenging the prosecution at every turn.

If you are facing a road traffic matter or criminal offence and need the services of Freeman & Co. please call on 0161 236 7007.

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