Police catch banned driver back behind the wheel

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A motorist was found to be over the drink-drive limit after he was stopped by police following a shopping outing.

James Blair, 49, failed a breath test near his home in Eildon Road. But it emerged at Jedburgh Sheriff Court that he committed a similar offence in the Newcastle area and received a driving ban a fortnight ago.

Mark Keane, prosecuting, said that on April 22 at around 3.25pm police received a report of a Skoda Octavia leaving Sainsbury’s supermarket. He added: “Police saw it being driven in Burnfoot Road and then into Eildon Road. The accused was in the driver’s seat along with his wife. They spoke to the accused and he said he was the driver and noted the smell of alcohol on his breath. He provided a positive breath test and was taken to the station.”

Blair, who is as a carer for his wife, pleaded guilty to driving with a breath/alochol reading of 40 microgrammes – the legal limit being 35. Defence lawyer Rory Bannerman said it was a case of “day after, night before drinking”. He added: “Someone phoned the police from the supermarket but he did not think he had anything to hide.”

Sheriff Donald Corke said that in light of the similar case in Newcastle, he was obliged to impose a three-year disqualification period and also fined him £120.