Mossbank drink-driver banned for 16 months after crashing into oncoming car

A woman who “swerved all over the road” at more than twice the drink driving limit before crashing into an oncoming car has been banned for 16 months.

Suzanne Smith, 49, of Leaside, Mossbank, was also fined £600 when she appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court yesterday.

Smith had been driving on the B-road near Voxter on the afternoon of 13th May when the incident happened at 4pm. Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said an oncoming driver saw Smith coming towards him.

“She was effectively swerving all over the road, and that limited the other driver’s ability to predict what was going to happen,” he told sheriff Philip Mann.

Smith drove straight into the witness, Mr MacKenzie said. The police were called and she was taken to hospital after failing the roadside screening test, although she was not significantly injured.

It was not until four hours after the accident that an evidential sample was taken. That showed her to have 78 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Standing in the dock, Smith admitted the drink-driving charge. Mr MacKenzie said the count, although high, would have been significantly higher at the time of the crash.

Defence agent Chris Dowle said there was little Smith could say about the circumstances leading up to the accident. He stressed she was “very apologetic” and was receiving help from the community alcohol and drugs service.

Mr Dowle said Smith was in a position to pay a fine, having returned to Shetland after a spell away only two months ago. She would be willing to carry out the drink drivers’ rehabilitation course.

Sheriff Mann said it was fortunate that nothing else happened at the time of the incident. “A collision occurred as a result of you being substantially over the drink driving limit,” he said.

“I am not dealing with you in regard to the accident, but I have to take that into account, as indicating how intoxicated you must have been. All instances of drink driving are serious, but this is a particularly serious one.”

Smith can reduce her ban to 12 months if she passes the rehabilitation course.


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