Heavy drinker caught almost five times the limit banned and fined

A problem drinker caught driving at almost five times the legal alcohol limit has been disqualified from getting behind the wheel for two-and-a-half years and fined £600.

John Johnson, 37, of Castle Street in Scalloway, caused concern among council workers at Lerwick’s North Ness when he attended the offices there.

Staff feared he had been drinking. The police were called and a search was carried out for him.

Appearing at Lerwick Sheriff Court today, Johnson admitted driving with 160 microgrammes of alcohol in his breath – the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Johnson had suffered a significant problem with alcohol.

“Without being flippant about it, the only way to describe him was that he was blazing drunk.”

He added Johnson had been drinking three litres of vodka a day.

Defence agent Tommy Allan admitted Johnson had given a “fairly horrendous count”.

He said drink had been a severe problem for Johnson over the last 10 years. He had spent time in residential rehabilitation and was working with Shetland’s alcohol and drugs service.

He added Johnson was in a position to pay a financial penalty, saying: “He’s doing all that is required of him.”

Sheriff Philip Mann told Johnson: “With that level of drinking I am surprised you are actually standing in front of me today. You must have been very intoxicated and that presents a significant risk to the public.”

He banned him for 30 months, reduced from 45 months to reflect the early plea. However Johnson will not be able to participate in the drink driving rehabilitation course.

Johnson said “thank you, your honour,” before leaving the dock.


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