17th October 2018
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Woman banned for 10 years after driving while twice the limit

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A woman has been banned from driving for 10 years after being caught behind the wheel at more than twice the drink driving limit.

Barbara Jacobs, 59, of Assater in Hillswick, was warned she was “on the cusp of going to prison” when she appeared for sentence at Lerwick Sheriff Court today.

As well as the ban, Jacobs was ordered to wear a tag for three months and carry out 70 hours of unpaid work as part of a nine-month community payback order.

Jacobs had previously admitted driving with 82 microgrammes of alcohol in her breath on 19th October – the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

She had also pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to identify herself as the driver. Sentence had been deferred for background reports.

The court heard two separate motorists had contacted the police after having the “misfortune” of encountering Jacobs on the road.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said it had been obvious to both of the drivers that Jacobs was drunk. She was seen veering about in her car at 11mph on the A970 near her home at around 2pm.

She had been travelling from her house to a local shop to buy alcohol, among other things.

She was so shocked to see police turn up at her door she dropped a bottle of wine she was carrying.

Defence agent Tommy Allan urged Sheriff Graeme Napier to allow Jacobs a community-based disposal, despite the sheriff insisting her previous record made her “a candidate” for a custodial sentence.

The sheriff wondered how Jacobs would be able to get by with limited funds and a reliance on taxis to get her about.

Mr Allan argued a community payback order would give Jacobs the chance to get out and meet people, adding it would be something she would have “an obligation” to take part in.

He said she had already taken steps to address her alcohol problem.

Banning her, Sheriff Napier voiced his despair that people were still prepared to drink and drive.

He sounded a warning people could have their liberty restricted – thanks to the imposition of tagging orders – even if they were spared a custodial sentence.

He told her: “You are a risk not only to yourself but to other peoples as well. It beggars belief that people in Shetland don’t think this is a serious offence. I’ve tried my best over the last seven years to make that point, but I’ve obviously failed.”

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A hospital nurse drove while more than four times the drink driving limit, Lerwick Sheriff Court heard today.

Rosalind Beal, 46, of Stove in Sandwick, left the road while driving on the A970 at the Voxter junction while she had 146 microgrammes of alcohol in her breath – the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

She was being followed by an off-duty policeman who was concerned about the way her car was being driven.

The officer saw her crash through a fence and then back into a ditch, where her vehicle became stuck. The incident happened on 14th November.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said staff nurse Beal suffered from a “chronic alcohol problem”.

He said it was “frightening” to consider the prospect of encountering someone with such a high alcohol count on the road.

Sheriff Graeme Napier deferred sentence until 14th December, calling for background reports to be compiled.

But he warned her she would be disqualified from getting behind the wheel in the meantime.

“You will not be driving between now and then,” he said.

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