Six months and life ban for drink-driver caught twice in two days

A Scalloway drink-driver was jailed and banned from the roads for life at Lerwick Sheriff Court today after being caught twice in two days in his new car.

Derek Johnson, 57, of Meadowfield Crescent, has previous criminal convictions, referred to by Sheriff Graeme Napier, including one relating to a fatal road accident in 1980 and two for drink-driving offences, one of which led to a spell in prison.

He was caught on Sunday 4th April in Meadowfield Crescent after people alerted the police to his chaotic driving. His breath/alcohol level was 82 against the legal limit of 35. He was kept in custody overnight and released on Monday.

The next day the police were alerted again after his car mounted the pavement and caused a driver to swerve onto another pavement to avoid being hit. Johnson was caught going between Lovers Lane and Meadowfield Crescent and initially refused to co-operate with a breath test. When he relented later his breath/alcohol count was 72. This time he was kept in custody until his court appearance this week.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie told the court: “He is a man with a significant drink problem who believes it is entirely appropriate to drive the short distance to the shops in Scalloway to pick up his carry-out.”

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client lived in a sheltered house and suffered bipolar disorder – which used to be known as manic depression. But he said there was no rational explanation for his client’s behaviour although he had been affected by the recent death of his brother, followed by that of a close friend.

Sheriff Napier dismissed Mr Allan’s appeal for Johnson not to be jailed due to his poor health. “You’re a danger to the public,” he told him as he fixed a six-month sentence and banned him from driving for life. His V-registered car, which cost him £2,000, was confiscated and will be sold at public auction.


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