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Man caught driving after bottle of whisky

By Richard McLaughlin

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Court...Inverness Justice Centre.
Court...Inverness Justice Centre.

An Inverness man who drove while nearly five times the drink-drive limit has been spared jail.

Witnesses saw Darren Francis with a bottle of whisky while on the roads in the Black Isle at around 10.45am on June 16.

Fiscal depute Victoria Silver told Inverness Sheriff Court: “Police received information to the effect that the driver was in the Culbokie area and the accused could be seen drinking a bottle of whisky.”

Francis (57) was tracked down by police and breathalysed. He had 105 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 22 micrograms.

Francis admitted the offence of driving while over the limit on the A832 near Rosemarkie. He also pled guilty to another charge of drink-driving which took place a month earlier on the A96 near Nairn.

The court heard a mobile police patrol had reason to pull Francis, of Lawers Way, over on May 16 and noticed the smell of alcohol on him. He gave a reading of 76 micrograms per litre of breath.

Defence agent Rory Gowans said his client had been struggling with his personal life and had turned to alcohol, adding: “He’s clearly put others at risk by driving.”

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank disqualified Francis from driving for three years.

He also imposed a community payback order with a supervision element of 15 months, an alcohol treatment requirement, and 135 hours of unpaid work in the community.

The sentence was a direct alternative to custody.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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