A repeat drink-driver has been banned from the road for three years after getting behind the wheel to visit a friend while under the influence.
Stuart Miles was almost four times the legal alcohol limit when he drove to visit a friend in Ellon, Aberdeenshire, on Friday evening.
The 31-year-old was so drunk his friend couldn’t understand what he was saying, and promptly phoned the police before he drove off from the address on Snipe Street, Ellon.
Officers traced Miles at his home address on Swan Road and noted the bonnet of the car was still warm from the engine.
Miles, who had only purchased the vehicle in July on a monthly payment plan, still had £11,500 left to pay for the vehicle, despite the crown only valuing the car at £10,500.
And Sheriff Philip Mann granted a crown motion for forfeiture of the car, fining Miles on top of that and banning him from the road.
Fiscal depute Brian Young told Aberdeen Sheriff Court: “At around 11pm a witness could hear the sound of a vehicle engine in her driveway. She observed a grey Volkswagen in her driveway. The accused was the sole occupant.”
Mr Young said the witness noted Miles was “heavily intoxicated”, adding: “When asked to leave the house he had slurred speech and the witness was unable to make out what he was saying.
“This was reported to the police.”
Stuart Miles then left and drove home, where police traced him at 11.20pm and noted the car bonnet was still warm and there were fresh tyre marks on the drive.
Officers found Miles “unable to maintain balance” and noted he “smelled strongly of alcohol”.
Mr Young made a crown motion for forfeiture of the vehicle, a Volkswagen Golf purchased in July this year, which he said was valued at £10,500.
Miles, of Swan Road, Ellon, pled guilty to driving with 82 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 22 microgrammes.
He also admitted failing to give police information as to the identity of the driver of the vehicle.
Defence agent Laura Gracie said her client had £11,500 in outstanding finance on the car, more than the value of the vehicle itself.
She said her client had separated from his wife and that she had custody of their children.
She said: “He tells me he’s been struggling to cope with that.”
Ms Gracie went on to tell the court: “On this night he wasn’t feeling particularly great and had quite a lot to drink. He then drove to a friend’s house to speak with her.
“She obviously didn’t want to speak to him and contacted the police.”
Sheriff Philip Mann granted the crown motion for forfeiture of the car, and stipulated the proceeds of its sale be used to pay off or reduce the outstanding finance on the vehicle.
He also fined Miles £320 and banned him from driving for three years.