Latvian man evades jail for drink driving a week after receiving two-year ban

A Latvian man who took to the wheel just a week after receiving a two-year ban for drink-driving narrowly avoided a custodial sentence at Lerwick Sheriff Court.

Instead Edward Kukutis, 21, of the town’s Sandveien, was disqualified for five years and told to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work after being caught while almost four times the limit.

He admitted driving with 128 microgrammes of alcohol in his system – the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Kukutis first came to attention last month when the court heard he did not believe he had done anything wrong in driving while drunk.

His ban was supposed to drive home the message of how serious his antics were.

However he subsequently caused alarm among his fellow staff members at the Tesco supermarket by getting into his car and taking off while inebriated just a few days later.

Kukutis was held in remand while background reports were prepared.

On Wednesday the court heard the social work department had been able to arrange temporary accommodation for Kukutis once his case was heard.

Initially, however, sheriff Graeme Napier was not to be swayed, indicating a custodial sentence was likely.

“I had worked out where his accommodation was going to be,” he said.

Defence agent Tommy Allan urged the court to spare Kukutis a jail sentence.

He said Kukutis had served the equivalent of a six-week sentence while on remand.

“It was his first time in jail and not an experience he is in a hurry to repeat,” he said.

Referring to background reports he said community service was a viable option. “Clearly, the offence itself is serious.”

Sheriff Napier told Kukutis: “Mr Allan, your solicitor, makes a valid point, that you have served the equivalent of almost six weeks in custody.

“In those circumstances, but only because of that, I consider I can deal with this by way of an alternative to custody.

“But be under no illusions if I see you in court again you will be sent to prison.”


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