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Fine and ban for drink driver who smashed into wall at Golspie and flipped car

By Court Reporter

A drink driver, whose vehicle ended up on its roof after hitting a wall in Golspie, was found by a passing police officer, a court was told.

Michael MacDonald, Hood Street, Maryburgh, was discovered still inside the overturned vehicle by the officer, who had been on her way to work at 6am on Sunday, November 3.

After giving a positive roadside breath test, the 27-year-old told the officer: “I am an idiot.”

Sheriff Gary Aitken fined Michael MacDonald £800 and banned him from driving for 16 months.
Sheriff Gary Aitken fined Michael MacDonald £800 and banned him from driving for 16 months.

He was taken to Burnett Road police station, Inverness, and then to the city’s Raigmore Hospital, where blood samples were taken.

The tests showed MacDonald to have 151 millligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood - the limit is 50 in 100.

At Tain Sheriff Court today, MacDonald, who was not in court but had previously admitted drink driving on the A9 at Golspie on the date in question, was fined £800 and banned from the road for 16 months.

Procurator fiscal Niall MacDonald told the court that the accident had happened on the trunk road at Golspie within the town’s 30mph speed limit.

He said: “A police officer was driving to work when she came across the vehicle which had evidently been involved in a significant collision as it was on its roof.

“It had apparently collided with a wall and a lamppost. Other officers were called to the scene."

The fiscal said that the damaged wall belonged to a private individual and the costs of repair work was estimated at £600.

Defence agent Graham Mann said his client had made a “terrible error of judgement” in getting behind the wheel.

But the lawyer added that Mr MacDonald “offered no excuse” and there had been no “significant background" or any particular event beforehand that had led to it.

“He (MacDonald) was extremely fortunate to have escaped without serious injury,” said the lawyer. “He remained under observation in hospital for some time.”

Mr Mann told Sheriff Gary Aitken that his client’s absence from court was not a “sign of disrespect” to the judicial proceedings.

His parents, who recognised the severity of the matter, were present in court.

Mr Mann said that his client was in Australia on a working visa and was presently employed picking grapes.

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