'Spectacularly stupid' steam roller driver spotted swigging Buckfast

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Buckfast wine mentioned in crime reports

A steam roller driver has been described by a judge as "spectacularly stupid" after being spotted swigging from a bottle of Buckfast while driving down a busy motorway.

Thomas Dow, of Inverkeithing, Fife, was at the wheel of a van, transporting his co-workers on a 100-mile journey during the evening rush hour last year, when he was pulled over by police officers who noticed a wine bottle in his hand.

The 31-year-old admitted drink-driving on the southbound carriageway of the M90, at Perth Sheriff Court.

He told the court that he had originally been drinking juice, but had switched to the notorious tonic wine after that had run out.

Fiscal depute Stuart Richardson told the court: "It was 5.30 pm and police saw the van being driven by the accused on the M90. There was an obvious reason to stop him," reported The Scotsman.

"He seemed to be drinking from a bottle as he was driving so they pulled him in. They smelled alcohol. The breath test machine was not working so they had to take a blood sample."

Dow, a qualified specialist driver, registered 94 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80 milligrams.

Dow's defence solicitor, Jonathan Matheson-Dear, told the court: "It was extremely irresponsible, not only to be driving under the influence, but to be drinking while he was driving.

"The circumstances are that he had been working in highway construction with a company up north and he was travelling home with colleagues in the works van from Aberdeenshire.

"He will suffer the consequences because he will not be able to return to the employment he had. He is very candid about his remorse and shame for the stupidity on his part."

Dow was banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to carry out 100 hours of community service.