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Soldier found asleep in Moray lay-by

By Ali Morrison

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A Moray soldier who was found passed out in a lay-by beside the A96 admitted to police that he had been drink driving.

Officers discovered Josaia Vuetimacuata inside a vehicle parked about three miles east of Forres at 3am on February 18.

The 28-year -old was fast asleep in the driver's seat.

Elgin Sheriff Court heard that the engine was switched off.

In addition, the bonnet was cold to the touch, indicating that the car had not been driven in the recent past.

Despite numerous attempts the officers were unable to wake Vuetimacuata, so they forced entry into the vehicle.

No bottles or cans were found within the car.

Speaking in court, fiscal depute Karen Poke said: "He was extremely unsteady on his feet."

After failing a roadside breath test he was taken to a police station.

An official test was administered at 4.23am.

This gave a reading of 96 – more than four times the legal limit of 22.

Defence solicitor Matthew O'Neil stated that his client had confessed at the earliest opportunity to drink driving.

The lawyer said: "He made a very foolish decision.

"He wants to apologise both to the court and the police officers who were taken away from doing other things while they were dealing with him."

Mr O'Neill stated his client had no previous convictions, adding: "I don't expect that we will ever see him in court again."

It was also made clear that the military would be imposing its own separate disciplinary measures.

Sheriff David Harvie said: "It's quite a high reading.

"As he wasn't drinking in the car there was only way he could have possibly got himself there, and that was by driving while under the influence."

Vuetimacuata, whose address was given in court papers as Kinloss Barracks, was banned from the roads for a year and fined £420.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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