AN ARMY veteran from Ayr who uses alcohol as a 'coping mechanism' for PTSD has been given a driving ban after being caught behind the wheel while under the influence.

Thomas Main, of Russell Drive, was nearly one and a half times the booze limit when he was caught behind the wheel of a Ford Transit van in April.

The 48-year-old provided a breath sample with a reading of 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath. 

The legal limit in Scotland is 22 microgrammes.

He was sentenced at Greenock Sheriff Court after pleading guilty to driving under the influence.

Cops had pulled over Main's van in the town's Ann Street on Sunday, April 14.

A sentencing hearing this week was told that Main has previous convictions of a similar type.

However, a procurator fiscal depute was unable to provide information on an offence from 2006, telling the court that the Crown did not hold further details from that far back.

Defence solicitor Gerry Keenan said: "He had been employed at this time as a heating engineer, but as a direct consequence of this, he has been rendered unemployed.

"He was working at the locus and was waiting for materials to be delivered, and he consumed alcohol.

"It would appear that drinking is a coping mechanism for him."

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Mr Keenan said Main has "struggled with mental health" issues and had "symptoms of PTSD".

He added: "The reading in this case is not that high.

"He does have a significant record for something like this, but it was some time ago."

Sheriff James Varney said: "Mr Keenan is correct to point out that the record is quite a significant one in terms of analogous offending."

Main was sentenced to 18 months of supervision with an alcohol rehabilitation requirement, while he must also complete 120 hours of unpaid work in 12 months.

He was also disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence until February 2026.