25th September 2017

Lifetime ban and prison for repeat drink driver

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A man has been imprisoned for eight months and banned from driving for life after being caught drink driving for the second time in seven days in January.

Torbjorn Riise of Undirhool, Scalloway admitted the offences at a previous hearing.

Sheriff Philip Mann branded Riise’s behaviour “about as spectacular a series of road traffic offending as I could imagine”, prior to imposing sentence.

The second offence, on 26th January, was Riise’s fourth conviction for drink driving. He had also been caught on 19th January. On both occasions he was many times over the legal maximum alcohol level.

The Sheriff added: “For someone with your history of convictions, I cannot see any alternative to a custodial sentence.

“You put members of the public at very significant risk of harm. It was only a matter of good fortune that no harm occurred. These are two very serious matters of drink driving in a very short period of time. The second one was undertaken when it should have been obvious to you, you had offended in a spectacular fashion.”

The court heard that a member of the public had seen 46-year-old Riise driving on 19th January and had been so concerned that they followed him to the Scalloway shop on Main Street where he stopped to buy more drink.

“He was clearly seen to be under the influence of drink,” and staggering, said procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie. The police were then called and were at Riise’s house about 15 minutes later. There, he told police “the outright lie” that he did not know who had been driving his car.

Riise was then liberated on the undertaking he would appear in court, but before that date, police again found him drink driving in Scalloway where he “co-operated fully”.

The fiscal said that he could not think of a “more appropriate” situation for the confiscation of Riise’s vehicle, estimated to be worth £8,500 to £10,000.

Tommy Allan, defending, said that Riise had lost his job because of the offences and was concerned he would lose his house. If he also lost his car “things look pretty grim”.

Riise was disqualified for life for the earlier offence and had his car forfeited. He was also fined £300 for failing to identify himself as the driver or spend 14 days in prison.

He was imprisoned for eight months for the second offence with one month attributed to his breach of undertaking. He would have got a year if it had not been for his guilty plea, said the Sheriff. He was also disqualified for life for this offence.

Reece’s imprisonment was back-dated until 27th January, since when he has been in custody.