Ferryman banned for five years after being caught three times over the limit

A man caught three times over the limit the evening after a heavy night of drinking was banned for five years and told to pay a £1,650 fine when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court.

Ferryman John Rognaldsen, 64, of Hamilton Park, Bressay, drove on the A970 near the Brig o’ Fitch on Sunday night with 105 microgrammes of alcohol in his system – the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Rognaldsen had been enjoying a heavy night of drinking on Saturday. He only stopped at 5am on Sunday.

Fifteen hours later – at 8pm – police stopped him after receiving a tip-off from a concerned member of the public.

Rognaldsen failed the roadside screening test and was taken into custody.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Rognaldsen had had “a very late night, that had gone into the early hours of Sunday morning”.

He added Rognaldsen had one drink during the course of the day but said the majority of alcohol in his system was from the night before.

Mr Allan said Rognaldsen’s shift pattern on the inter-island ferries allows him to work nine days on and nine days off. When on he does not touch alcohol at all, he said.

Mr Allan said Rognaldsen had co-operated fully with the police. He intended to sell his car in order to pay for any fine.

Sheriff Graeme Napier told Rognaldsen: “It’s appalling to think you were in charge of a vehicle with this level of alcohol in your system. With such high readings … I think you are a high-risk driver.”

Rognaldsen can reduce his ban by one year if he completes a drink driver rehabilitation course. However any licence he comes to hold in the future will be endorsed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.