A BRAVE woman shopper stood in front of a car in the Tesco car park to stop a drink-driver as he tried to leave with his box of wine.
The culprit, Hamish Nicol, 55, of Lower Sound, Lerwick, was arrested and on Wednesday admitted his guilt, landing a £1,200 fine and two-year driving ban. He had a breath/alcohol count of 125 which is over three-and-a-half times the permitted amount of 35.
Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie told Lerwick Sheriff Court that people had seen Nicol falling to the ground in the car park with his wine on the afternoon of 24th September. Two people helped him to his feet and noticed the smell of alcohol. They watched and saw him get in his car and move a short distance forward.
A woman who saw what was happening was so alarmed she blocked his path. Two others then leaned in, put the handbrake on and removed the ignition keys.
“This would seem to be a case of a man with a significant alcohol problem who is only now accepting that as a fact,” the fiscal said.
Defence agent Tommy Allan said Nicol had retired two years ago and the drink problem crept up without him appreciating how serious it had become. He also suffers a condition affecting the cerebellum in his brain which can affect his balance and therefore his awareness of how much he has drunk.
Sheriff Graeme Napier asked, sarcastically, if it also affected his ability to count – as in how many drinks he had consumed.
Continuing, Mr Allan said Nicol also had just one kidney, which affected his ability to absorb alcohol. A night in the cells had been a serious wake-up call and he was now seeking professional help.
The sheriff said it was an absolutely ridiculous amount to consume before going to Tesco and then trying to drive off.
He said he wanted to send a message to people in Shetland who still thought they could get away with such behaviour and he praised those who had shown community responsibility in stopping Nicol driving. He warned him he would go to prison if caught again.