A RENFREWSHIRE welder who drove towards police near a beer festival, while over the drink-drive limit, has been banned from the roads.

Andrew Wilson was nearly three-and-a-half times the limit when he drove in the direction of police officers close to the Houston Beer Festival.

Paisley Sheriff Court heard that officers spotted Wilson driving towards them, saw him in the driver’s seat and could smell alcohol from him, before he failed a breath test.

But he was not charged with drink-driving by prosecutors, and appeared in the dock charged with the lesser offence of being under the influence while in charge of a motor vehicle.

Wilson was given an eight-month ban from driving as the 48-year-old appeared in the dock last week.

He admitted being in charge of a vehicle while having 72 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of blood - nearly three-and-a-half times the 22mcg limit.

Procurator Fiscal Jennifer McKee explained: “Two police officers witnessed the accused’s vehicle driving towards them, and the area was busy with pedestrian traffic due to the ongoing beer festival.

“The accused was seated within the driver’s seat, they spoke with the accused and could smell alcohol.”

Sheriff Colin Pettigrew then interrupted the prosecutor, asking: “They stopped the vehicle - it was moving?”

And, when Miss McKee said, “yes”, he replied: “I’m somewhat astounded the Crown  haven’t raised this under the Road Traffic Act - drink-driving.”

Defence lawyer Anthony Boland said Wilson was not in a good place at the time as he had recently split up with his partner of 18 years.

He said the break-up caused him both emotional and financial difficulties, with him suffering from depression and stress, having to rent a house after moving out and facing a £2,800 legal bill following the split.

Wilson, of Low Barholm, was also fined £400.

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