A man facing his third drink driving conviction narrowly avoided a custodial sentence when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court.
Callum Jarmson, 31, of Hayfield Lane, Lerwick, was banned from driving for four years and fined £650 when he stood before Sheriff Philip Mann on Wednesday.
He had previously admitted driving on the A968 at Voe on 14th June with 120 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, exceeding the legal limit of 35 microgrammes of alcohol.
Jarmson appeared from custody the following day and sentence was deferred until Wednesday for reports to be compiled.
Defence agent Tommy Allan said Jarmson had been struggling since the break up of his relationship, and had not coped well with work and financial pressures.
“He has used alcohol as a crutch, and it’s not been particularly useful for that,” said Mr Allan. He said Jarmson was “realistic enough to know he won’t be driving in the short term”.
Sheriff Mann said he would not have been criticised if he had decided to impose a custodial sentence on Jarmson.
“This is the third time you’ve been guilty of driving with excess alcohol. This is something you are going to have to address, and you’re going to have to address it quickly as the danger to the public is immense if you continue at this rate.
“The penalties that can be imposed include imprisonment, and I’d probably not be criticised for considering a custodial sentence for a third such offence.”
However he said because the earlier offences had occurred when Jarmson was much younger, he would be prepared to deal with him without sending him to prison.
Banning him from getting behind the wheel, Sheriff Mann told Jarmson he would allow a one year discount on his disqualification if he successfully completed a drink drivers rehabilitation course. His fine was reduced from £1,000 because of his early plea.
Meanwhile, another drink driver was disqualified from getting behind the wheel for a year and fined £400.
Brian Irvine, 22, of North Park, Symbister, admitted driving in the town on 30th June with 56 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, exceeding the legal limit of 35 microgrammes of alcohol.
The court heard Irvine, a Whalsay ferryman, had made an error of judgement after feeling obliged to move his car away from the pier for fear it would be in the way of preparations for the Johnsmas Foy.
Sheriff Mann disqualified him for 12 months. However Irvine could qualify for a three month discount if he successfully finishes a drink driver rehabilitation course.