Earl of Haddington handed driving ban after drink driving crash

Earl of Haddington, 37, is handed a driving ban after downing whisky and crashing his car near Mellerstain Estate

  • The father-of-two, 37, was involved in a collision near his stately home in April
  • 14th Earl of Haddington was more than twice the drink-drive limit at the time

An aristocrat has been banned from driving after being involved in a crash while more than twice the alcohol limit. 

The 14th Earl of Haddington was involved in an accident near his Mellerstain estate, in Gordon, Berwickshire, on the evening of April 12 and police were called to the scene. 

Jedburgh Sheriff Court heard the 37-year-old father of two was identified as the driver of one of the vehicles in the A6105 collision, and when asked by police who was driving a Volvo replied ‘Me’. 

Lord Haddington gave an alcohol/blood sample that had a reading of 126 milligrammes – the legal limit being 50 – and told officers he had consumed ‘house measures of whisky.’ 

He pleaded guilty to being in charge of a vehicle while over the alcohol limit, with pleas of not guilty to driving without L plates while a provisional licence holder and no insurance accepted by the Crown. 

The 14th Earl of Haddington was involved in an accident near his Mellerstain estate (pictured), in Gordon, Berwickshire, on the evening of April 12

But Sheriff Peter Paterson said he regarded it as effectively a drink-drive charge and banned him from the road for 12 months and fined him £500 with a £20 victim surcharge. 

He was charged under his full name of George Edmund Baldred Haddington with his address given as Mellerstain House, near Gordon. 

Defence lawyer Graeme Runcie said his client was a first offender and described his occupation as a ‘land manager’. 

He said Lord Haddington had experienced a ‘fairly challenging year’ and has had to ‘address some of his issues’. 

Mr Runcie said Lord Haddington had ‘satisfactory means to meet any financial penalty imposed by the court’. 

Sheriff Paterson also certified Lord Haddington suitable for the drink-drive rehabilitation course that would result in a 25 per cent discount of the year-long ban if completed at his own expense. 

Educated at Eton College and Glasgow University, where he graduated in arts and media informatics, he became the 14th earl in 2016 following the death of his father who left a £34million fortune. 

The 17th century Robert Adam-designed Mellerstain House contains works by artists such as Gainsborough. 

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