Drunken Johnstone driver who was five times the limit lands car in ditch after drinking whiskey



A Johnstone man who crashed his car into a ditch after drinking whiskey was found by a dog walker.

Sozzled John Hyndman was five times the legal drink-drive limit when he veered his Skoda off the road and into a ditch in Lochwinnoch.

A dog walker stumbled across Hyndman, 67, slouched in his car with a bottle of whiskey in the passenger seat.

The procurator fiscal depute told Paisley Sheriff Court: “Around 6.55pm on March 12, a civilian witness was walking their dog in Burntfoot Road in Lochwinnoch when they observed a vehicle in a ditch at the side of the road.

“Hyndman was in the driver seat and a bottle of whiskey was in the passenger seat.

“The witness detected a strong smell of alcohol coming from the accused and contacted the police.

“Officers attended and the accused stated he had been driving and was drunk.

“The accused was required to provide a specimen of breath, which tested positive for alcohol.

“He was cautioned and charged and taken to Greenock police station to complete the drink-driving procedure.”

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Defense agent Ms Wallace told the court: “The first words Mr Hyndman said to me where ‘I’ve been extremely foolish.’

Ms Wallace explained Hyndman was struggling with his mental health at the time of the incident.

She said: “He is extremely embarrassed and is extremely sorry for this incident.

“With the benefit of hindsight he recognizes the danger he put himself and others in, and he has asked me to apologize to the court for that.

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“He stated to me he has problems with alcohol as he lost his parents four years ago and then lost two friends in quick succession.

“His mental health has been affected due to this.

“And in the way of finding a coping mechanism, he has turned to drink.

“He has taken steps to address his alcohol problems and his GP has referred him to the Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership.”

Hyndman, of Sandholes Road in Johnstone, admitted to driving on March 12 in Lochwinnoch’s Burntfoot Road while the proportion of alcohol in his breath was 116mg. The legal limit is 22mg.

The father-of-two also admitted driving without due care and attention by failing to maintain a proper lookout, causing his vehicle to leave the roadway and drive into a ditch.

On sentencing, Sheriff Grant Hutchison said: “With that amount of alcohol and the situation you found yourself in a ditch with a bottle of whiskey, that would have been enough to merit a custodial sentence.

“In these circumstances and the fact you have a clean record, I am prepared to give you a chance to prove you are addressing your alcohol problems.”

Sheriff Hutchison deferred sentence for four months.

Hyndman will return to court on August 4 for sentencing and was disqualified from driving meantime.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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