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Ban for driver who had vodka in car park.

Byline: CHRIS TAYLOR

A motorist has been banned from the road after he was spotted glugging straight vodka from the bottle.

George Lister, 65, was spied knocking back the spirit in a Lidl car park.

Cops turned up at his door - but he claimed he only had a "mouthful".

Lister, who has a previous conviction for drink-driving, was found guilty after a trial at Paisley Sheriff Court.

Sheriff Lindsey Kooner did not believe his excuse and convicted him. She said: "This is an unusual and difficult case.

"Both sides have been careful to present evidence carefully to the court.

"This is not a case where someone can come to court and say someone was sitting in a bar for a significant time and consuming a quantity of alcohol and they were so concerned they called police.

"I am satisfied you should be convicted of the charge.

"You will be disqualified ad interim."

Lister was spotted swigging vodka behind his motor at the supermarket in Johnstone High Street.

He then got behind the wheel of his grey Mazda and drove a mile home.

This was noticed by a taxi driver and two shoppers and the alarm was raised.

Shop security called in police, who traced the driver to his property in nearby Hazel Avenue.

Lister told cops he had only sipped from the bottle and started drinking after he got home on September 28 last year.

He was breath tested when officers arrived - blowing a reading almost four times the drink-drive limit.

Lister drafted in a forensic pharmacologist in a bid to prove he was not over the limit when he was seen in the car park.

Dr Paul Skett, 66, admitted his report was dependent on accurate figures being provided by Lister on how much he had to drink and when.

He said: "The calculation is computer-based and can calculate the blood and breath alcohol reading over a 24-hour period.

"It needs to be as accurate as possible, including what is drunk, when it was drunk and the brand of alcohol.

"It's to ascertain whether it is consistent with the intoximeter reading.

"The fact he drove after a gulp of vodka, it wouldn't have been apparent before he got home.

"He would certainly not be over the prescribed limit."

Prosecutor Frankie Morgan insisted the expert's report was tainted by lies from the driver over what he had necked and when.

He said: "Mr Lister accepts drinking in the car park.

"That was spoken to by civilian witnesses.

"They spoke to attending in a taxi. "When the journey ended, Mr Lister was seen drinking from, what is not in dispute, a bottle of vodka.

"One witness in the taxi spoke to him taking quite a big drink from the bottle."

The court earlier heard from police who went to Lister's address.

PC Colin McDonald, 42, told how the driver claimed he must have ended up over the limit after drinking when he got home.

He said: "A male had been observed consuming alcohol at the back of his motor vehicle then driving off.

"I and my colleague attended in relation to a possible drunk driver.

"We spoke to the witnesses and were passed the registered keeper's address by the control room.

"We attended his address and spoke to Mr Lister.

"I explained we were making inquiries about a person alleged to have been consuming alcohol in his vehicle.

"He took us into his kitchen, where he said he had been drinking since."

Defence lawyer Bob Kerr admitted his client had struggled with alcohol.

He said: "He's someone who sneaks out of the house to drink without his wife seeing."

The court was told Lister was convicted of a similar offence two years ago.

He must meet with social workers tasked with providing a background report on his lifestyle.

Lister has been disqualified from driving and must return to court for sentencing on June 18.

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Publication:Paisley Daily Express (Paisley, Scotland)
Date:May 21, 2019
Words:658
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