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Drink-driver's pothole slip-up

By Staff Reporter

A drink-driver’s attempt to negotiate a pothole on a rural Sutherland road, proved to be his downfall.

Richard Vetters’ foot slipped off the brake and his vehicle ended up in a ditch at Tapachy Road, Altass, a court heard.

The 70-year-old retired diving supervisor was trapped in the car and emergency services were called.

The accident happened around 5.50pm on Sunday, June 2, and Vetters, of Altass, near Lairg, was taken to hospital for a check over.

It was not untilaround 9.30pm that he was breath tested. He had 61 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than twice the legal drink-drive limit of 22 in 100.

Vetters appeared at Tain Sheriff Court on Monday to admit drink-driving .

Defence agent Rory Gowans said: “On the day in question Mr Vetters had been working in his garden operating a digger.

“He finished work at noon and had a large dram between noon and 1pm.

“At around 5pm he received an invitation to go to a local hotel a mile away. Given the passage of time, he felt okay to drive. But that was a foolish decision on his part.

“When trying to negotiate a pothole, his food slipped off the brake and he ended up in a ditch.”

Mr Gowans said his client had a clean licence and had never been in trouble before. He was deeply ashamed and, as he lived in a rural location, the loss of his licence would be restrictive and inconvenient.

The lawyer asked that given his client’s age and lack of record, he be given as short a ban as possible.

Sheriff Chris Dickson banned Vetters from the road for12 months and fined him £400.

He said: “The reading was quite high given the time the samples were taken.”

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