Man reports BBC star to police after seeing him ‘gulp down’ wine before driving

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Gordon Duncan spoke of how he witnessed James Naughtie “gulp down” the big glass of wine while chatting away to someone in the bar in Edinburgh, Scotland, before jumping into his car to drive home

A pub-goer has shared how he reported a BBC radio presenter to police for drink driving.

James Naughtie, 69, was spotted by Gordon Duncan downing a “large Chardonnay” at Bennet’s bar, in the Edinburgh suburb of Morningside in Scotland, before leaving to drive home.

Gordon, who was previously a regular at the bar, was shocked when he noticed the presenter getting into his car, and reported the series of events to police.

Gordon hasn’t felt comfortable going back to the pub he spent 14 years as a regular since the incident, he said.

Speaking to Edinburgh Live, Gordon spoke of how he witnessed Naughtie “gulp down” the big glass of wine while chatting away to someone in the bar.

“On this I decided to go outside and pretend I was on a call in the Bennets garden,” he said.

“The guy came out 10 minutes later and got into his new car and drove off. I took a picture of his car and noted the number plate too.

“I then called police immediately.”

Gordon explained that he doesn’t “believe in drink drivers”.

“It’s disgusting in this day and age where we have one of the best public services. People who drink drive should be sent to prison,” he said.

“I was never afraid to report him, I hate drink drivers I would report him again or someone doing same thing.”

Naughtie, 69, was spotted getting into his car after he had stopped off for a glass of wine at Bennets Bar in Morningside, Edinburgh.

The award-winning journalist was traced to his nearby capital home by police officers and admitted he had been driving his vehicle that afternoon in October 2019.

He was asked was to provide a roadside breath test and was found to have 35mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is just 22mg of alcohol.

The retired Radio 4 news anchor appeared in the dock at Edinburgh Sheriff Court under his full name of Alexander James Naughtie in June where he pleaded guilty to driving while over the limit.

Prosecutor Ross Price said: “Around 3pm in the afternoon the accused left Bennet’s Bar and a member of staff saw him getting into his vehicle and called police.

“Officers made enquiries and attended at the accused’s home address at 3.17pm and breathalysed him.

“He confirmed he was the driver [of the vehicle] that afternoon.”

Solicitor Sean Flanagan, defending, said his client had been driving to his Edinburgh home and decided to stop off at the public house “for one glass of wine”.

The lawyer added Naughtie, whose address was given as Blackthorn Avenue, London, had only driven “a relatively short distance” from the bar to his home and had cooperated fully with police.

Sheriff Peter McCormack fined the motorist a total of £500 and banned him from driving for 12 months.

The sheriff said Naughtie would be allowed to take part in a drink drive rehabilitation scheme if he chooses which, if passed successfully, would see his road ban reduced by three months.

Naughtie pleaded guilty to driving a vehicle with 35mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath at Maxwell Street, Morningside Road and Cluny Gardens, all Edinburgh, on October 20, 2019.