Addiction counsellor banned after admitting drink-driving charge

An addiction therapist has been banned from the road after admitting driving while almost four times the legal alcohol limit.

By Court reporter
Thursday, 24th February 2022, 4:15 pm
Updated Friday, 25th February 2022, 10:37 am
Central Bar, Peebles, where Mark Abrami downed six pints of lager and several whiskies before driving home. Photo: Bill McBurnie.
Central Bar, Peebles, where Mark Abrami downed six pints of lager and several whiskies before driving home. Photo: Bill McBurnie.

Mark Abrami – who was part of the senior management team at the Borders-based Castle Craig residential rehabilitation clinic for patients with serious drink and drugs issues – downed six pints of lager and several whiskies in a pub before driving home.

Bar staff warned him not to do it, but 49-year-old Abrami drove off anyway and police were contacted.

At Selkirk Sheriff Court, Abrami pleaded guilty to driving with a breath/alcohol count of 85 microgrammes – the legal limit being 22 – in Northgate, Peebles, on the evening of September 24.

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Depute fiscal India MacLean said staff in the Central Bar in Peebles were serving Abrami alcohol and noticed it was having an effect on him.

She said: “The witness was informed by another staff member he had left the bar and entered his car. Both employees went outside and saw him in the driver's seat.

“They told him he should not be doing that but he drove away. Police were contacted and attended at his home address."

Defence lawyer Euan Robertson said his client's marriage was dissolving at the time of the offence and he had been seriously assaulted months before, and it was a stressful period of his life.

He added that Abrami was part of the senior management team at Castle Craig and they had wanted him to continue, but he felt it was "inappropriate" to continue because of the offence and had resigned.

Abrami is now earning £2,000 a month as a self-employed counsellor.

Mr Robertson added: “He is having to accept the stupidity of the night. There were other factors going on in his life at the time."

He asked that Abrami be certified for the drink drivers rehabilitation scheme which would result in a 25% discount in the length of the ban if completed successfully at his own expense.

Sheriff Peter Paterson told Abrami: “You of all people should be acutely aware of all the factors of drink driving and I don't know what knowledge you would get out of that."

However, Sheriff Paterson said the legal authorities were against him in that view and that he was obliged to certify Abrami as suitable to sit the course.

Abrami was disqualified from driving for 14 months and fined £400 with a £20 victim surcharge.