A drug addict who was so out of it while driving in Lerwick he did not notice the blue lights and siren of the police behind him was fined £2,000 at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Monday.
Appearing from custody in handcuffs, unemployed Robert Goodlad, 20, of Hamnavoe, Burra, was also banned from driving for a year and ordered to resit his driving test once he gets his licence back.
The court heard Goodlad should have known the dangers of driving under the influence because he had been involved in a fatal crash a few years ago which killed his best friend.
Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said the police had been alerted at about 10.30 on the morning of 19th November by someone who had witnessed his driving. A few seconds later he drove incredibly slowly past a police car which began to tail him through the North Lochside, Hayfield Lane and Robertson Crescent areas of town.
Officers saw him weaving all over the road and although he was oblivious to their attempts to get him to pull over he did eventually stop. A test revealed no alcohol in his system but a doctor who attended the police station judged he was on drugs.
Goodlad had been released from the cells on an undertaking that he would attend the court last Wednesday.
But he failed to appear and a warrant was granted for his arrest, which he then read about in the paper and decided to turn himself in. Mr MacKenzie said it was clear Goodlad had a significant drug problem and was under the influence when he handed himself in.
His defence agent Tommy Allan said as well as the death of his friend in an accident he had since suffered further from his father’s death and that of another young friend, which he was finding difficult to cope with.
He claimed his client was on medication at the time of the driving incident rather than illicit substances. He said Goodlad hoped to start fishing soon with a recently acquired creel boat but would now have to do so without a driving licence.
Honorary sheriff George Henderson said the court was continually making it clear that drink or drug-driving was a very serious matter.
In Goodlad’s case it had been aggravated by the fact he had suffered the consequences of his friend being killed in a road accident. He imposed a £1,500 fine for drug-driving and £500 for failing to turn up for his court appearance. The fine can be paid at £200 a month.