Drink Driving, Hamilton Sheriff Court, 29 June 2015
Our client was accused of drink driving. As he was a practising solicitor, and the fact that the breath test placed him more than 5 times the legal limit, a conviction could have had utterly devastating consequences. The evidence of driving consisted of no more than our client getting into his car, switching on the engine and the lights. Our client had no intention of driving the car. He had switched on the engine simply to warm himself up and the lights of the vehicle were set to come on automatically. Under cross-examination, both police officers conceded that the car windscreen remained frosted-up with no suggestion that our client had tried to remove the frost, that he had not fastened his seatbelt, that the handbrake remained on and that he was sitting in the car in a way which suggested he was simply trying to heat himself up. Moreover CCTV evidence showed that the car did not move the entire time prior to the police arriving. In those circumstances, the Crown conceded partway through the case that there was no evidence of ‘driving’. But that was not the end of the story. The Crown thereafter amended the complaint to being ‘drunk in charge’ of the vehicle. However we were able to persuade the court that there was no likelihood of our client driving while still over the drink driving limit and he was found Not Guilty. Our client worked for another road traffic specialist firm who correctly felt that it would not be appropriate for them to act themselves. It was very gratifying that our competitor contacted us for assistance and we were delighted to achieve a Not Guilty verdict for the young solicitor concerned.