Drink driver fined and banned from road

A 47-year-old woman was banned from the road and fined £1,500 on Tuesday after she was caught drink driving the previous day.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard that Diane Layfield, of Staney Hill, Lerwick, was found to have had 128 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath when the legal limit is 35 – one of the highest readings seen by the court.

The offence came to light about 1pm on Monday when a concerned member of the public saw the accused exiting the Brig o’ Fitch junction onto the main Lerwick road.

She was seen to be driving very slowly and veering across the middle of the road. The member of the public followed her and reported her to the police station. She was later traced to her home and admitted having driven from Sumburgh Airport.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said that although the offence might appear mundane, the high reading that suggested the accused had a drink problem, which she did not acknowledge.

Defence solicitor Tommy Allan said that Ms Layfield had been south and had been due to fly to Shetland on Sunday, but the flight was cancelled and she had been put up in a hotel where she had consumed alcohol that night. She maintained she had had none on Monday and did not think she would be over the limit.

Mr Allan asked Sheriff Roger McDonald to take into account the fact that the accused had already spent nearly 24 hours in the cells, and, as she would lose her licence, she faced losing a job which she had been planning to take south, which would involve driving.

The sheriff told the Ms Layfield, who has no previous convictions, that he took the offence very seriously and said it was “absolutely unacceptable behaviour” that would severely compromise the safety of road users. Her high alcohol count was “particularly disturbing”, and he warned her she could have been liable to a custodial sentence.

The two year ban will be reduced by six months if she completes the drink driving rehabilitation course.


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