Over the limit man keeps his licence

A man who admitted being over the legal alcohol limit when in charge of a car was allowed to keep his licence when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court today.

Alexander McNicol, 54, of Broomfield Street, Larkhall, pleaded guilty to being in his car in Commercial Street, Lerwick, on 16th August with 45 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

The court heard that a concerned member of the public phoned police at around 3.30pm. McNicol was booked on the ferry departing at 5.30pm for Aberdeen, and had been intending to head for the boat when the police went to the scene. They found McNicol sitting in a car park in the driver’s seat, speaking on his mobile phone.

Defence solicitor Sandy Morrison said a toxicology report gave a relatively low reading, and McNicol had “miscalculated” his ability to drive. He said that McNicol, who had been working at Sullom Voe, had various “historic” convictions for driving offences, including a custodial sentence, but his licence was clear at the moment.

McNicol had been working on the Borders Railway since September, and needed his licence to commute to work from his home in Larkhall to Galashiels. He had to stay in Larkhall to look after his 30-year-old son, who lives with him and has medical problems.

Mr Morrison asked Sheriff Lorna Drummond to consider McNicol’s personal circumstances and suggested penalty points on his licence might be appropriate, rather than disqualification.

In view of the circumstances, McNicol’s full-time job and low alcohol reading, the sheriff “against her instinct” imposed 10 penalty points and fined him £650.


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