27th September 2016
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Banned after being found asleep at the wheel

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A scaffolder has been banned from driving for two years and may face losing his job after he was found by police slumped at the wheel in the early hours.

Robert Hamilton was also fined a total of £700 after he admitted struggling violently with police and refusing to provide a breath test.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Hamilton, 54, of Lerwick’s Stanegarth, was found in his parked works van at 1am. The lights were on and the engine was running, which sparked suspicion – particularly given that it was parked near a pub.

Police found Hamilton slumped at the wheel and asleep. They opened the driver’s door and turned off the engine.

“He woke up and was clearly very drunk,” said Mr MacKenzie.

He provided a breath specimen, but the court heard Hamilton became difficult to deal with when he was placed under arrest – forcing officers to call for assistance.

Hamilton was taken to the police station where the drink driving procedure was started, but he refused to co-operate, stating he had not been driving.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Hamilton had been drinking and had gone back to the vehicle to collect his phone and call for a taxi.

Hamilton had said he had found the phone’s battery flat and had started up the engine to charge up the phone.

“It remains his position he wasn’t driving,” said Mr Allan.

“He wrongly came to the view it wasn’t in his interests to provide a specimen at the police station. He expects to lose his job. And he expects to be disqualified.”

Mr Allan added that Hamilton had spent the weekend in custody following the offence.

Sheriff Philip Mann told Hamilton: “It has to be the case there is every possibility you might have driven that vehicle, placing the public in considerable danger. This is a serious offence.”

He offered Hamilton a six month discount if he can complete a drink drivers rehabilitation course.