'Significantly impaired': Grangemouth drink driver smashed into car and then road sign

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An evening of chaotic drunk driving saw a four times over the legal limit offender smash into the back of a car and then crash into road sign in the space of a few minutes.

John Cunningham, 47, was so drunk he had stopped his car in the middle of a road, blocking the way forward for another vehicle. When that car took another route and the driver pulled over to call police out of concern for what he had seen, Cunningham drove right into the back of his vehicle.

A short time later Cunningham’s car crashed into a road sign.

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He appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court las Thursday having pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention and drink driving at Grangemouth Sports Stadium, Kersiebank Avenue and Inchyra Road, Grangemouth on March 16.

Cunningham was four times over the legal drink driving limit(Picture: Submitted)Cunningham was four times over the legal drink driving limit(Picture: Submitted)
Cunningham was four times over the legal drink driving limit(Picture: Submitted)

He gave a reading of 85 microgrammes of alcohol within 100 millilitres of breath, when the legal limit is 22 microgrammes.

Procurator fiscal depute Lucy Clarke said: "The owner of the Ford Fiesta left his mother's address at 11.15pm to head home. While driving in Grangemouth he has noticed a small silver hatchback blocking the road."He flashed his lights at the car to see if the vehicle would move but it remained stationary. He noted the vehicle lights were on and there was a male in the driver seat."Due to the vehicle remaining stationary he turned his vehicle around and drove down another street, before stopping just outside Grangemouth Sports Stadium where he pulled over to call police to report the vehicle in case the driver was in some kind of distress.

"He looked in his rearview mirror and saw the same vehicle approaching. It has crashed into the back of his vehicle before driving away swerving. He also reported to the police his vehicle had been struck.

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"At 11.20pm a woman noticed a silver vehicle had crashed into a road sign in Inchyra Road and she went to the driver to check on him. He had slurred speech, had drowsy eyes and couldn't maintain eye contact, giving the impression he was under the influence.

"Police arrived at 11.35pm and officers could smell alcohol on the accused and noted his bloodshot eyes. He became very agitated and began to strike his vehicle."

The court heard Cunningham had "little explanation" about the driving that took place and was said to be "disgusted with himself and ashamed"and had remained abstinent since the incident.

It was stated the vehicle he was driving at the time belonged to his employer.

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Addressing Cunningham, Sheriff Alison Michie said: "You have driven your car while more than four times the legal limit. You have clearly placed yourself in danger and you have placed other road users and members of the public in danger.

"In particular, the man who you crashed into the back of. Then you crashed into a road sign. It's clear you were very significantly impaired."

She banned Cunningham, 6 Torwood Avenue, Grangemouth, from driving for 20 months and ordered him to complete 170 hours of unpaid workwithin 12 months.