A man was spared jail after he admitted driving while under the influence of alcohol with his young son in the vehicle.

Martin Scratchard of Gordon Street, Catrine, pled guilty to the charges last week at Ayr Sheriff Court.

The 35-year-old, appeared at his daughter’s dance show where he was notably under the influence of alcohol.

Procurator fiscal Ms Bayne explained that during the interval of the show, Scratchard and his partner returned to the car where he apologised for drinking but proceeded to remain in the car with his son to finish his food while his partner returned to the show, reluctantly leaving him with the car keys.

The accused, already disqualified from driving, proceeded to drive the car under the influence along New Road, Catrine and was subsequently reported to the police after his wife realised the car had been stolen, the court heard.

A police search was launched and the accused was found behind the wheel at New Road with his 12-year-old son.

After failing a breathalyser test, Scratchard was then arrested.

John Gallagher, representing Mr Scratchard explained: “Mr Scratchard has no reasonable or rational explanation for his actions. I think understanding how upset his son was has had a serious affect on him. And he understands that he would never want to put him through that again.”

Sheriff Leslie explained to Mr Scratchard that he was extremely lucky to be avoiding a custodial sentence.

He said: “The only explanation for this act is that you were drunk, and you endangered your son while doing so.

“You need to consider yourself very lucky that you aren’t going to jail today and the only reason you aren’t, is due to the detrimental effect it would have on your partner and children.”

Scratchard was disqualified from driving or obtaining a licence for the next two years as well as being put under 18 months supervision.

He will also be restricted to his home between the hours of 7pm and 6am for the next four months.