POLICE who found a man drunk in charge of a van has been ordered to carry out community service.
Officers came across the white transit van sitting outside a fast food shop in North Bridge Street, Bathgate, at around 8.15pm on September 2 last year.
Procurator Fiscal depute Robert Shields told Linlithgow Sheriff Court David Young was in the driver’s seat.
Mr Shields added: “The engine was running as he waited for his son to come out with some food.
“He told officers he was the owner of the vehicle and they noticed he smelled strongly of alcohol.
“Young was also unsteady on his feet. He was swaying back and forth and his speech was slurred.”
Young gave a positive sample in a roadside breath test and was arrested.
Last week Young, 35, whose address was given as Sibbalds Brae, Bathgate pled guilty to being drunk in charge of a vehicle.
His solicitor, Peter Mullin, told the court it was an unusual charge.
Mr Mullin added: “He has consumed a large quantity of alcohol the previous evening as it was his son’s birthday.
“At lunchtime on the day of the offence he had two or three pints of Guinness and thought by 8.30pm he was fit to drive.
“He is described as a low risk offender in terms of risk to the public.”
But Sheriff Grahame Fleming said that only meant Young, who had two previous convictions for drink driving and two for driving while disqualified, was not likely to go out and beat people up.
“It does not mean he is not a risk to the public,” Sheriff Fleming added.
Mr Mullin said his client accepted custody was a possibility given his previous record.
However, handing Young 190 hours of community service, Sheriff Fleming said: “You are building up an unenviable record for offences relating to alcohol.
“I have been persuaded that on this occasion this does not necessarily need to lead to imprisonment.
“I, therefore, have got to reflect the seriousness of the offence by giving you a direct alternative to custody.”