Gala drink ban driver granted 
a taxi licence

Despite police objections, a Galashiels man banned for drink driving in 2011 has been granted a licence to drive taxis in the Borders.

Graeme Weir had disclosed his previous conviction when he applied for the permit.

But in a letter to Friday’s meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s Civic Government Licensing Committee, the police claimed Mr Weir, 64, was not a “fit and proper person” to hold a taxi driver’s licence.

Appearing before the committee, Mr Weir said he had been driving for 40 years with no other convictions and had held a taxi driver’s licence from 1995 up until he was disqualified for 12 months – and fined £315 – at Selkirk Sheriff Court in December, 2011.

Asked to explain the circumstances of his offence, he said he had “parked up for the night” at a car park in Galashiels where he was attending the party of a friend.

“I saw blue lights flashing from the house and went out to see what was happening,” he told councillors. “It was the police who told me to move my vehicle as it was causing an obstruction or it would be towed away. I’d had two glasses of wine at the party and should have asked the officers to move it.

“I thought I was okay and stupidly got behind the wheel, intending to reverse it into a vacant space in the car park. As soon as I got into the driver’s seat, I was breath tested.”

Councillor Tom Weatherston successfully moved that Mr Weir’s application be granted. “Apart from this offence, which happened over three years ago, he has had a clear driving record for 40 years,” said Mr Weatherston.

“Hopefully he has learned his lesson.”