63-year-old caught drink-driving in Lauder claimed he'd been sleepwalking

A 63-year-old man claimed he’d been sleepwalking when stopped by the police for drink-driving.

By Court Reporter
Thursday, 5th March 2020, 9:37 am
Updated Thursday, 5th March 2020, 9:41 am
Lauder's Co-op store.
Lauder's Co-op store.

Ian Paterson said he had no recollection of the journey that resulted in him being found behind the wheel of a car outside the Co-op supermarket in Lauder’s Edinburgh Road on September 12 with a breath-alcohol count of 57 microgrammes, the legal limit being 22.

Defence lawyer Ed Hulme said his client had taken a zopiclone sleeping tablet and also a mouthful of vodka as he could not sleep following the loss of a tooth.

He explained: “He has a very limited recollection of the evening in question.

“He remembers losing a tooth earlier in the day and was struggling to get to sleep.

“He took one of the sleeping tablets he had been prescribed but it was still causing him discomfort.

“He then had a mouthful of vodka to help with the pain in his mouth and, after that, he has no recollection.

“What may have happened is that he was in a sleepwalking state as it has been known as a side-effect of the tablet.”

Mr Hulme said that he had considered lodging a defence of non-insane automatism to the charge, but he accepted that it is clearly stated on the medication’s packaging not to mix it with alcohol.

Mr Hulme pointed out that the lights were still on at Paterson’s home in the Orchard at Lauder and its front door unlocked to support his theory.

He added that it would have been quicker for his client to walk to the Co-op than to take his car.

Sheriff David Clapham disqualified Paterson from driving for 12 months and fined him £225.