23rd May 2018
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Driver who was over three times the limit gets his Range Rover confiscated

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A man has had his Range Rover confiscated after being found more than three times over the drink driving limit.

Vladimir Stukov, 42, of Gilbertson Road, Lerwick, was today banned from driving for two years when he appeared from custody at Lerwick Sheriff Court.

He was ordered to carry out 40 hours of unpaid work after admitting driving with 129 microgrammes of alcohol in his breath – the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Sheriff Philip Mann was told that Stukov’s car was spotted swerving on the road at Nordavatn as it headed out of Lerwick on Saturday.

Police noticed the smell of alcohol on Stukov’s breath. He gave a positive sample after being taken to the police station.

Fiscal representative Chris Dowle said Stukov had recorded “an extremely high count” and moved for forfeiture of his Range Rover.

Defence agent Richard Donaldson said Stukov had only been driving a short distance, going from one friend’s house to another.

Mr Donaldson said: “He is not quite sure why he drove. He had had a few drinks and he thought he would be okay to drive, but accepts this was a serious error of judgment on his part.”

He added the offence could be a “big problem” for Stukov – a fish factory worker in Scalloway who has to start his work early in the morning when no buses are available.

Mr Donaldson added that Stukov was “genuinely sorry” for committing the offence, which comes as his first drink-related motoring conviction.

“He maintains this is totally out of character for him,” Mr Donaldson added.

But sheriff Mann struggled to believe how Stukov could have felt able to get behind the wheel, given the amount of drink he had consumed.

“How you thought you’d be fit to drive with this level of alcohol in your system I do not know,” the sheriff said. “Driving with any level of alcohol is dangerous, but driving with that level of alcohol is extremely dangerous.”

He said the court could have considered imposing a custodial sentence, but spared Stukov from prison because it was his first offence of this kind. He granted forfeiture of the car.

Stukov was initially facing a 60-hour unpaid work order and a £100 fine, but the sheriff decided not to impose the fine and reduced the hours after hearing a police estimate had valued the 1994 Range Rover at £2,500, rather than the few hundred pounds as had been thought.

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