Man jailed for eight months as court deals with trio of drink driving cases

A man was jailed for eight months and disqualified from driving for a year as Lerwick Sheriff Court dealt with a trio of drink driving related cases.

Paul McKinnon, 26, of Gracemount Square in Edinburgh, also admitted breaching the peace in Yell – where he had been staying on Friday night – early on Saturday.

He conducted himself in a disorderly manner as police tried to detain him and have him placed in the back of a police vehicle. They were arresting him for taking a car without its owner’s consent from a challet at Ulsta.

McKinnon admitted driving the car with no licence and no insurance when he appeared from custody before Honorary Sheriff Arnold Duncan on Monday.

He also admitted failing to provide two specimens of breath when he was eventually taken to the police station in Lerwick. He carried out the offences while on bail.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said McKinnon, who is unemployed, was awaiting sentence on a separate matter in Inverness and had “indicated a preference” to have this matter promptly dealt with by the court. “He’s over 21 and he’s been in jail before,” he said.

Meanwhile a businessman caught driving while almost three and a half times over the limit was disqualified for two years and fined £1,000.

Proprietor of the Globe Butcher shop in Lerwick Keith Moffat, 43, had 121 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, exceeding the legal limit of 35 microgrammes.

The court heard he was stopped by police on Friday after they spotted him driving “erratically” along the A970 at the Brig o Fitch.

Moffat, from Quarff, spent the weekend in the cells as a result, before appearing from custody. The court heard Moffat had been drinking the previous day, and had two glasses of wine with his lunch on the day of the offence.

Mr Allan, defending, said his client had “mis-estimated” the level of alcohol he had consumed. He said Moffat had been struggling since his brother died at sea in September last year and urged the court to take into account the fact he had spent the weekend behind bars.

Honorary Sheriff Duncan told Moffat: “You were almost three and a half times the legal limit and for that reason I’m obliged to disqualify you from driving.”

Banning him, he said the disqualification could be reduced to 18 months if Moffat completed a drink drivers rehabilitation course. He reduced the fine from £1,500 to reflect Moffat’s early guilty plea.

In the third case, the court heard that a taxi driver had to take evasive action to avoid a drink driver coming the other way.

The incident happened when Paul Roberts, 42, of Water Lane in Lerwick, swerved his car across the A971 Melby to Gott road at around 1.30am on Sunday morning.

He was driving home from a wedding with 94 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, almost three times over the legal limit.

Roberts, a hotel assistant manager, had been driving with only his side lights on. His car was later spotted – having left the road – by the same taxi driver who had swerved to avoid him.

When the taxi driver opened Roberts door to check if he was alright, he fell out of the car onto his face. The police were called and Roberts was taken into custody, where he stayed until he appeared in court on Monday.

Mr Allan, defending, said there had been an arrangement for Roberts to catch a bus home from the wedding he had been attending.

“He has no clear recollection of why he was driving the car.” He said Roberts was aware “as soon as the vehicle had gone off the road” that he was in trouble.

“He can remember speaking to his partner who was in the car with him.  They were going to call the police themselves, but the police arrived soon afterwards any way,” he said.

Roberts was disqualified for 14 months and fined £500.


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