A CARE assistant who was caught driving while drunk and without a licence in Helensburgh claimed he was attending to a medical emergency at the time.

Darren Devers appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on September 24 for sentencing following an incident in July 2020 in which he was in control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and without a valid UK licence or insurance policy.

The procurator fiscal told the hearing how the 25-year-old was approached by police in West Princes Street at 9.45pm on July 11, 2020 to find out if he was involved in an unrelated incident.

When speaking with Devers, police noticed a strong smell of alcohol in his breath, his eyes were glazed, and his pupils dilated.

After identifying himself, police carried out checks and discovered he had no valid licence or insurance.

Devers’ defence solicitor said his client had a disagreement with the narrative that the procurator fiscal read out.

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The lawyer said: “He was in a friend’s house celebrating a birthday and some alcohol had been taken. He had drunk the least of the party.

“He described being pressurised into driving to the shop to pick up more alcohol.

“That is something he obviously regrets doing. He accepts that he should not have been driving.

“With reference to the other incident, police attention was drawn to somebody having what Mr Devers describes as a medical emergency outside the shop, and he was attending to that person.

“He has had a fairly difficult upbringing and suffered childhood trauma. He has found this experience a fairly traumatic one itself and is looking to attend counselling.

“He works as a care assistant and has a similar role with Edinburgh Council due to start next month.

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“With outgoings his disposable income is very limited and he would be able to pay £25 a month.”

The breath sample Devers supplied to police gave a reading of 30 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

The legal limit in Scotland is 22mg per 100ml.

Sheriff Simon Fraser handed Devers, of Westfield Court, Edinburgh, a £375 fine and disqualified him from driving for 12 months, which can be reduced to nine if he completes a voluntary drink drive rehabilitation course.

He said: “I am reducing the fines for the driving without licence and insurance very considerably given your limited means.

“Normally, for driving without insurance, I start around the £500 mark.”