AN INTERNATIONAL athlete who competed for Scotland in the Commonwealth Games has been caught drunk-driving in Port Glasgow at nearly five-times the booze limit.

Alasdair Strange was spotted with his legs 'dangling' out of his parked car after dark at the town's retail park — with a large empty cider bottle lying on the ground beside the black Audi A1.

Strange, 37, agreed with a concerned member of the public that he was in no fit state to be behind the wheel, then minutes later shut the door and drove off in the direction of the town's railway station.

Police found the vehicle — with its engine bonnet still warm — at the park and ride car park off Highholm Avenue, and arrested him there.

Prosecutor Tanjeel Maleque told the sheriff court: "A witness observed a black Audi A1 with the driver's door ajar and the driver's legs dangling out.

"Mr Strange was observed to be slumped in his seat.

"On the ground was a large empty cider bottle and a black iPhone.

"The accused was asleep and the witness asked if he was okay.

"He woke and replied, 'Fine'.

"He was asked if he'd been drinking and he replied, 'Aye, a wee bit'.

"The witness told him he couldn't drive and he said, 'I know'.

"The witness returned to her vehicle and observed the accused from a distance.

"She saw him closing his car door and driving off.

"She contacted police and attempted to follow the accused but she lost sight of his vehicle."

Strange competed for Scotland in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and finished eighth in the pole vault event.

The first offender pleaded guilty to drunk driving through lawyer David Tod.

He committed the offence at around 6pm on November 7.

The court heard that he told police: "Aye, it was me, I drove down here and had a few drinks — I shouldn't be driving."

Asked when he last drank he replied: "Half-an-hour ago."

Strange was later found to have 100mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath — putting him at more than four-and-a-half times the legal limit of 22mcg.

Solicitor Mr Tod said: "The appears to be an aberration other than anything else.

"He has no criminal convictions and no points on his licence.

"Mr Strange has a pro-social lifestyle, a good job and is involved in athletics."

Mr Tod added: "He moved the car to get the train home and parked in the car park beside the train station.

"He lives in Yoker."

Sheriff Andrew McIntyre added: "The aggravating circumstance is that the (alcohol) reading wasn't just quite high, it was very high."

The sheriff banned Strange from the roads for 16 months and ordered him to complete 80 hours of unpaid work.