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Court / Drink driver disqualified but allowed to keep his car

A DRINK driver who was caught twice within a week was disqualified for 32 months and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work when his case called for sentencing at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

However, a crown motion to forfeiture Matthew Willmott’s vehicle was refused as “disproportional” by Sheriff Ian Cruickshank.

Willmott, of Lower Voe, has also been put on supervision for a period of 15 months.

The 48-year-old had previously admitted driving while almost seven times the legal alcohol limit on 21 August, and being in charge of a vehicle in a layby on the A970 near Voe while three times over the limit on 28 August.

The legal limit in Scotland is 22 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

On Wednesday procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie asked the court to order the forfeiture of Willmott’s car arguing that the father of two posed a “significant risk to the public.”

Acknowledging that Willmott is a first offender, Mackenzie said: “His judgement is so impaired by his addiction that the risk remains very high”.

Defence solicitor Tommy Allan said his client found it very difficult to cope after his life had gone “off the rails” due to the break-up of his marriage and the loss of his job due to Covid.

Pleading for leniency, Allan said Willmott was terrified at the prospect of going to jail and added that his client would benefit from supervision to help him through the state of limbo.

During sentencing Sheriff Ian Cruickshank described the offences as “very serious” but as they were committed as a first offender they did not “merit a custodial sentence.”

Willmott will be able to reduce the period of disqualification by a quarter should he successfully complete a drink driver’s rehabilitation course.