A MAN from Ayrshire who took to the wheel while nearly four times the alcohol limit has been banned from driving for 18 months and fined £800.
Christopher Ramage, of Newfield, Dundonald, appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court over a year and half after committing the offence because police failed to track him down.
The 33-year-old appeared from custody on Thursday to admit driving a van with 82 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml breath on the town’s Church Road on 15 July 2017.
Ramage also admitted driving the van with no insurance and without a full licence.
Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said police on patrol were already aware of Ramage’s intoxication when they saw him getting into the vehicle at around 2.20am.
His inability to drive properly was evident in the time it took him to turn the van out of the parking bay, Mackenzie added.
Ramage was immediately stopped by police officers and failed the roadside screening test before being arrested and taken to the Lerwick station.
Mackenzie said Ramage had missed a court undertaking in August 2017, claiming he was laid off and couldn’t afford the travel – but did not take up an offer later that month to appear again.
The fiscal said a warrant to apprehend was then passed onto the police, but despite “exhaustive attempts” to locate Ramage he could not be found.
Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client attended a police in Ayrshire on Wednesday.
He said Ramage had more latterly been working in Aberdeen and England and was away when police had searched for him at his mother’s address.
Allan said the offence was a “stupid” thing to do and that he was “thankful for everybody he didn’t get very far with it”.
Sheriff Ian Cruickshank decided that Ramage would get a lesser sentencing discount than usual on his guilty plea due to the time it took for the case to come to court.
He admonished Ramage on the insurance and licence charges, and gave him the chance to attend a drink drivers’ rehab course.