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Court / Serious consequences for drink drivers

A WOMAN who dropped off passengers at Sandwick Junior High School while five-and-a-half times the drink driving limit received a hefty driving ban and fine at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

Samantha Anderson, 42, of South Punds Park in Levenwick admitted driving with 121 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath on 16 December when the limit is 22 microgrammes.

The court heard that police had been alerted to Anderson dropping people off to activities in the school on a Sunday afternoon and stopped her after she drove past them.

Procurator Fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said that she was “clearly intoxicated” and was “belligerent” with officers in the police car. After she failed a roadside test she was taken to the police station.

Tommy Allan, defending, said that his client had suffered a split with her husband of 18 years and had lost custody of their children prior to the event and was acting completely out of character. She realised the severity of what she had done and was mortified by her behaviour.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said he was compelled by law to stick to recent sentencing guidelines and banned her from driving for a year and eight months and fined her £1,400.

He drew the line at confiscating her car, worth an estimated £16,000 to £18,000, saying forfeiture would be disproportionate.

He also gave her the chance to complete the drunk driver’s rehabilitation course, which would give her a discount off her ban.

MEANWHILE, driving with excess alcohol in her blood cost a woman from Lerwick her driving licence and a fine at the town’s sheriff court on Wednesday.

Frances Hunter, of Arheim, admitted the offence which happened on the town’s Sea Road and South Road on 31 December.

The 61-year old was stopped by police concerned about her driving at 6.30pm. She had 74 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath when the legal maximum is 22 microgrammes.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank fined her £600 and disqualified her from driving for 12 months with the possible of completing the drunk drivers rehabilitation course and further reducing her ban.