Police used a stinger device in a bid to stop a drink-driving offshore worker who led them on a chase in Aberdeen – because he “wanted to get some air”.
Nicholas Stephen appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted attempting to evade police by driving into the opposing lane and hitting double the speed limit.
When breathtested, Stephen gave a reading nearly five times the drink-drive limit. He pleaded guilty to five charges, including failing to stop for police, driving dangerously in built-up areas, driving without insurance, failing to provide a breath test and driving while over the prescribed limit of alcohol.
Fiscal depute Kiril Bonavino told the court that two officers spotted Stephen travelling on the A96 at around 1.45am.
He said: “They formed the opinion that the vehicle was attempting to evade them. It was travelling at 60mph in an area that had a 30mph limit near Cairncry Road.”
Officers then pursued him along Belmont Road, Back Hilton Road, Cairncry Road and North Anderson Drive where he failed to stop.
It was stated that Stephen drove at a “grossly excessive speed” and performed a dangerous overtake before entering the opposing carriageway.
Another driver had to take evasive action to avoid a head-on collision. Officers used the stinger device to halt the vehicle, but Stephen’s car accelerated to 70mph and failed to stop.
When eventually stopped near Lewis Drive, he failed to give a roadside breath test.
After his arrest, he gave a reading of 103 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 22 microgrammes.
Defence agent Laura Gracie told the court that Stephen had been in a custody battle with his former partner and had an argument.
She said: “He knows he shouldn’t have driven but he wanted to get some air.”
Sheriff Robert Frazer told Stephen: “It is incredibly lucky no one was injured.”
Stephen, of Bothiebrigs Drive, Cove, Aberdeen, was fined £2,500 and banned from driving for three years.