Falkirk court hears how drunk dangerous driver seriously injured police officer

A motorist who knew he was over the drink drive limit tried to evade capture and his thoughtless actions led to a road policing officer being injured and permanently disfigured.

Andrew Bryce, 26, appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court on Thursday having pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and drink driving on the A81 Aberfoyle to Glasgow road, near the Rob Roy Hotel, Aberfoyle and on various roads in Drymen.

Bryce gave a reading of 46 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, when the legal limit is 22 microgrammes.

The charges stated the police officer deployed a “stinger” device in an effort to slow Bryce down and end the pursuit, but Bryce swerved onto the opposite carriageway in an attempt to avoid the device, causing it to be pulled from the hand of the officer, causing him serious injury.

A police officer was injured during the pursuit of Bryce

The court heard Bryce had started consuming alcohol at a “very young age” and when his father died when he was 18 he used alcohol as a “coping mechanism”.

On the night in question, Bryce was out with friends and had not been intending to drive, however, the person who had been driving the vehicle became heavily intoxicated.

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It was then Bryce made the “incredibly foolish and unwise” decision to drive the vehicle.

When he saw police he knew he was over the limit and “panicked” and sped off instead of stopping.

It was stated the officer who was injured during the incident had not been wearing protective gloves, but Bryce accepted, by his actions, he caused the injury to the officer.

The court heard Bryce was talking about going on holiday to Greece.

His defence solicitor noted he could forget about that.

Sheriff Simon Collins QC said Bryce’s decision to drive that night and not stop for police had resulted in the “serious long-term injury, disability and disfiguring injury” to an officer.

He added: “It’s miraculous greater injury or death was not caused to others, whether to the accused himself, his passengers or other road users.”

He sentenced Bryce, 3 The Glebe, Thornhill, to 22 months in prison and banned him from driving for 65 months.