Inflated airbag failed to halt drunk Galashiels driver

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A van driver under the influence of alcohol continued travelling from Coldingham to Eyemouth – even though the airbag had inflated inside his vehicle.

Joseph Donaldson, 66, collided with hedging and various items of roadside furniture on April 1.

He pleaded guilty at Jedburgh Sheriff Court on Tuesday to charges of dangerous driving, failing to stop and give name and address after an accident, and failing to provide a sample of breath.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser said the incident happened at around 9pm.

He explained: “People following the accused’s vehicle noted there had been a collision and the airbag had gone off in his vehicle, but he continued to drive the vehicle, despite being visually impaired by the airbag.

“At times he was on the wrong side of the carriageway and his speed was very changeable.

“The police were phoned.”

As officers responded to the incident, Donaldson drove his van past Eyemouth police station where he struck a salt bin outside the fire station and smoke was coming from the engine. He also hit a bollard outside the primary school.

Mr Fraser said Donaldson was helped out of the vehicle and told officers: “I just don’t know what’s happening. He was completely intoxicated.”

Donaldson, formerly of Duns, and now living in Torwoodlee Road, Galashiels, had sentence deferred until May 15 for background reports.

He has received an interim driving disqualification.