Camelon man drank 17 cans of lager before driving and writing off BMW

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A teetotaller for years, who turned to drink after a family argument, guzzled 17 cans of Budweiser then drove, crashed into two parked cars, ploughed through two fences and wrote off his car.

Alexander Darling (53) lost control of his BMW while nearly five times the drink-driving limit.

Falkirk Sheriff Court heard yesterday the car, with Darling at the wheel, had “drifted” across Osborne Street, Falkirk, entered the driveway of a house and careered on through the two fences before colliding with the parked vehicles, one of which immediately burst into flames.

Police were called and Darling, who smelled strongly of alcohol, admitted he had been drinking.

Darling, 29 Watlingh Avenue, Camelon, pled guilty to drink-driving on July 3.

Simon Hutchison, defending, said: “It was a horrific situation. One of the vehicles went on fire and Mr Darling’s very thankful for the fact that they were parked and empty. He’s a hard working man who’s shown a great deal of remorse.”

Referring to an argument with a family member, he added: “Mr Darling had drunk nothing for years, but because of this particular issue this day he went out and got and drank 17 cans of Budweiser.

“And not only that they were pint-sized cans. That’s quite something, especially for someone who hadn’t had a drink for a while.

“I have to say he hasn’t had a drink since — this has been a lesson to him.”

Mr Hutchison said Darling’s eight-year-old vehicle was “probably a write-off”, but was on finance, so wasn’t legally owned by Darling.

Sheriff Derek Livingston said:

“The issue here isn’t that your client had 17 cans of Budweiser — it’s that he had 17 cans of Budweiser and drove.”

He disqualified Darling from driving for 40 months.

Sheriff Livingston also ordered him to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work, under a community payback order, within six months as an alternative to custody.