A PAINTER and decorator was EIGHT times over the drink drive limit when he got behind the wheel of his works van in Dunfermline.

Stephen Chandler reversed into the car behind him and was found to be smelling strongly of drink when a neighbour came out to find out what had happened.

The 24-year-old, of Elgin Road, Cowdenbeath, previously admitted that on January 12 in Castleblair Park, Dunfermline, he drove after consuming excess alcohol.

His reading was 175 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, the legal limit being 22 microgrammes.

Depute fiscal Alasdair Shaw said: “The accused had been at a friend’s house where he was doing some painting and decoration work.

"He had been drinking and at 6.15pm he made an attempt to leave in his van.

“He attempted to reverse and hit the rear of a neighbour’s car, causing some damage to it.

“This commotion was heard by another neighbour who went to the scene. He saw the accused attempting to drive forward but his wheels were spinning because of the icy road conditions.

“He then switched off the engine and got out. It was obvious he was very drunk by the smell of alcohol and he was staggering.”

Police were called and saw Chandler was unsteady on his feet with slurred speech.

Defence solicitor John Bain said his client had now accepted he was an alcoholic.

He added: “The distance involved is only three feet. He reversed into the car behind him and then stopped.

“He was only intending to move the van slightly. He hadn’t finished the painting job and was going to stay overnight.

“He thought his van might be blocking the road for other vehicles but he should have left it where it was.

"This has been a wake-up call for him.”

A Crown motion for the van, valued at £1,500, to be forfeited was not opposed.

Sheriff Michael Fletcher imposed a community payback order with supervision and 120 hours of unpaid work. Chandler was also banned from driving for 30 months.