Drink driver crashes into lamppost

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A drink driver from Linlithgow was found slumped over the wheel after he crashed his car into a lamppost, a court heard.

Alexander Nelson had volunteered to drive two pals home after downing ciders at a friend’s house.

He thought he was fit to get behind the wheel, Livingston Sheriff Court was told, but when he was forced to take evasive action to avoid an oncoming car he lost control.

Kirsty Lyons, prosecuting, said he smashed his motor into a lamppost, scattering debris all over the road and leaving the light “leaning at a curious angle”.

A householder who heard a loud bang outside his home went out and saw Nelson lying slumped over the steering wheel, she said.

A female who had been in the front passenger seat was picking up pieces of wreckage from the road and there was a third male in the back of the car.

Miss Lyons said: “The witness checked the welfare of the individuals and noticed both the accused and the female smelled strongly of alcohol. The accused appeared to be ‘out of it’.”

Police were summoned and they found Nelson checking the damage to his Daihatsu Terios SUV surrounded by pieces of the wreckage.

He admitted he was the driver and was given a roadside breath test, which he failed.

Nelson (39), of The Cross, pled guilty to driving in Mill Road, Linlithgow Bridge, on July 30 with a breath alcohol count of 63 microgrammes – almost three times the 22 microgramme limit.

Darryl Lovie, defending, said his client had drunk a couple of bottles of cider and “felt fine within himself”.

He told the court: “The street was narrow and another vehicle was coming in the opposite direction.

“He took evasive action and unfortunately collided with this lamppost. He accepts his ability will have been minimised by the alcohol he’d consumed.”

Sheriff Martin Edington fined Nelson £335 and banned him from driving for a year.

He said: “I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you how foolish a decision it was for you to drive that evening.”