A 22-YEAR-OLD man who failed to obey a road closed sign while the A7 was shut for resurfacing and ended up colliding with a works van has been disqualified from driving for two years at Selkirk Sheriff Court.

Lee Aitken – who admitted a charge of dangerously driving – was twice the legal alcohol limit when the incident unfolded around four miles north of Hawick on March 29 last year.

The court heard a passenger in the other vehicle suffered bruised ribs in the smash.

Alasdair Fay, prosecuting, said Scottish Borders Council had closed the road for re-surfacing work at around 8pm on the Sunday evening.

Three hours later workers witnessed Aitken ignoring the closure sign and colliding with a van.

Aitken, who was seen staggering at the scene and throwing a bottle of vodka from his vehicle, later protested to police that the warning lights were too small.

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Mr Fay continued: “He was picked up by a friend, and later intercepted in Hawick’s Commercial Road, where he failed a roadside breath test.”

Aitken, of Wood Street, Galashiels, also admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by shouting and swearing and making abusive remarks, as well as being in possession of cocaine and cannabis, at Borders General Hospital where he had been taken to provide a urine sample.

His solicitor, Ross Dow, said his client no longer takes illicit substances.

Passing sentence, sheriff Janys Scott said Aitken was lucky the outcome was not worse.

In addition to the driving ban, he was made the subject of a 12-month supervision order and must carry out 160 hours of unpaid work, as a direct alternative to custody.

Aitken will need to sit the extended test at the expiry of the disqualification period in order to drive again.