Driver found swigging booze beside broken down car

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A shocked mechanic called out to a breakdown at 4am found the driver beside his crippled car swigging from a bottle of gin.

Justin Yeardly contacted recovery company Burgoyne’s after his five year old Mitsubishi Colt suffered a buckled wheel, possibly after hitting a pothole, on Glenbrae, near Falkirk High Station.

But when the breakdown truck arrived, its driver concluded that Yeardly was heavily under the influence of alcohol – and was still drinking from the gin bottle while waiting for help.

Falkirk Sheriff Court was told today that the recovery company called police because they were concerned about Yeardly’s condition.

Depute fiscal Samantha Brown said: “By the time the police arrived there was a half-empty bottle of gin in the footwell.

“Mr Yeardly then advised that his car ‘fell apart’.”

Yeardly was arrested and taken to Falkirk Police Station.

Ms Brown said: “He had a collapsed lung, and was therefore unable to provide a breath sample, so blood samples were taken instead.”

They proved on analysis to contain 278 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres, nearly three-and-a-half times the limit in force at the time, which was 80.

Ms Brown added: “The Crown accepts that there had been some drinking at the side of the road.”

Yeardly (40), of Bridgeness Lane, Bo’ness, pleaded guilty to drink driving.

The incident happened on November 30, 2014. The court heard that the delay in getting the matter into court had been partly due to the necessity to obtain an expert’s report on the impact of Yeardly’s post-driving drinking on his blood/alcohol count.

Solicitor-advocate Stephen Biggam said Yeardly was single, living on benefits, and had no dependants.

Sheriff Linda Smith banned Yeardly from driving for four years, and fined him £450.

She said: “I have taken into account the circumstances, but you have pled guilty to a very high level of alcohol.”