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Jail and two lifetime bans for drink driver

A SCALLOWAY resident who drove whilst more than six times over the alcohol limit twice in a week has been jailed for eight months and handed two lifelong disqualifications from holding a licence.

Torbjorn Riise, of Undirhoull, had been in custody since last appearing in court on 27 January in relation to the second offence.

He pleaded guilty to driving with 156 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath at Undirhoull and Main Street, also in Scalloway, on 19 January. The legal limit is 22 microgrammes.

A week later, on 26 January, the 46 year old was caught drink driving at East Voe with 131 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The latter offence was committed while he was subject to an undertaking to appear at Lerwick Sheriff Court.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said that on 19 January, Riise was seen driving his car by a concerned member of the public who followed him. He stopped at a shop in Scalloway to purchase more alcohol, at which point he was seen staggering and “clearly under the influence”.

The member of public then phoned 999 and, when police caught up with him, he claimed his inebriation was the result of “post-incident drinking” and “lied outright to the police”, the fiscal said.

Mackenzie said Riise had two previous and “directly analogous” convictions and said ordering the forfeiture of his vehicle would “serve as a deterrent” to others.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said the gravity of the offences “hardly bears speaking about”, and that his client had a serious alcohol problem which he has been unable to get to grips with.

Riise was clear that he had spent 20 hours a day while in custody over the past two and a half weeks thinking about “how stupid the offences have been”.

Allan said there was concern about how his client would cope if he ends up losing his job, car and possibly his tenancy too. He accepted the situation was of his own making and was prepared to accept more help in dealing with his problems.

Sheriff Philip Mann described it as “about as spectacular a series of road traffic offending one can imagine” and had put members of the public at “very, very significant risk of harm”.

He thought Riise would have “had the gumption to moderate your behaviour” while on a court undertaking, but his judgement was “not so much clouded but non-existent”.

In addition to the jail term and a pair of lifelong disqualifications, he imposed a fine of £300 and ordered forfeiture of the vehicle.

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021