Drink driver who hid in ditch is banned from the road

A drink driver who fled from police and hid in a water-filled ditch after he was stopped has been banned for 20 months and fined £800.

John Hay, 22, of Wirligert, Aith first drew the attention of police by having a defective headlight. They then became so alarmed by his driving between Lerwick and Scalloway that instead of switching on their blue lights, they pulled in front of the car he was driving at East Voe.

Hay, driving a friend’s car, had overshot the Gulberwick junction to the Black Gaet and had to take a second attempt at negotiating it and then drove “at speed” to Scalloway. The police had decided not to switch on their blue lights in case that provoked him into fleeing the scene.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Hay tried hide in a water-filled ditch.

At first, Hay would not say who was driving the car, but a passenger in the car confirmed that it had been him. He was later found to have over three times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood – 117 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of blood.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said that his client could not account for his actions and that he had panicked when pulled over by police. He had not intended to flee until he had been pulled over.

Hay, a shot blaster at Sullom Voe Oil Terminal, was unsure if he would be able to keep his job which involved a lot of driving. He had just built a house and was paying £1,200 per month on his mortgage.

Sheriff Philip Mann said that Hay, who pleaded guilty to three charges, had done an “incredibly stupid thing” that would have “serious consequences.”

He said: “You must have been quite intoxicated at the time. This might in some way explain the course of action that you took when stopped by police. You realised the consequences of drunk driving ….and I will deal with it on that basis.”

Sheriff Mann banned Hay for 20 months for drink driving and fined him £600. He has the option to reduce the ban to 15 months if he attends a drink driving awareness course. He was also fined £100 for failing to identify himself to police and £100 for attempting to pervert the course of justice. All the fines were reduced to reflect his early guilty pleas.


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