A sheriff has seized a drink-driver’s car – even though it has 18 months of finance payments outstanding.
Iain Friar, from Barrhead, was stopped in his tracks and found to be more than three times over the legal limit when breath-tested on December 23.
He had been to a work night out and “for some inexplicable reason” decided to drive home after the festive blow-out.
Police impounded the Ford Mondeo and when he appeared in the dock at Paisley Sheriff Court, and admitted driving with 116 microgrammes of alcohol in his blood, the Crown moved for the vehicle to be forfeited.
Serial offender, Friar, 45, of Patterton Drive, Barrhead, had previous convictions for drink driving, careless driving and driving while banned.
After hearing that he had been employed by the same company for 16 years and had a young family to support, Sheriff Derek Livingston refrained from sending him to prison but issued a forfeiture order to have the vehicle taken from him.
The court was told that police pulled the vehicle up in Paisley Road, Barrhead as they were so concerned about the erratic manner of his driving.
He was arrested after giving the positive breath test.
Referring to the move to have the vehicle possessed, defence agent Paul Lynch said his client still had 18 months of finance outstanding on the purchase agreement and that if the Crown were successful, that in itself would be a very hefty financial penalty for the accused.
“This is inexplicable conduct,” said the lawyer, “and he simply cannot explain why he ended up driving his car.
“He has made a terrible mistake and he does not know what possessed him.”
He said that Friar had been in the same employment in the construction industry for 16 years and was “a valued employee”.
Custody would have a devastating effect on his family.
Friar, he said, understood fully why the Crown had made the motion to have the vehicle confiscated.
Sheriff Livingston told the accused that due to all that had been said on his behalf, he was prepared to deal with the matter without imposing a period of imprisonment.
Due to the high reading, the fact that he had a previous drink-driving conviction and other road traffic offences on his record, the period of disqualification would be four years.
As well as granting the motion for forfeiture of the vehicle, he fined Friar £800, reduced from £1,000 due to his early guilty plea, to be paid at £50 per week.