A young man who admitted dangerous driving while drunk has been banned from the roads for 16 months and fined £1,600.
Sheriff Ian Cruickshank told Tyler Johnson, 20, his driving could have had “tragic consequences” which had only been avoided due to “good grace and fortune”.
Sentencing Johnson on Wednesday, Sheriff Cruickshank warned the “extensive nature” of the dangerous driving could have warranted more severe punishment.
However, he noted Johnson appeared to have “shown remorse” after undergoing a “lightbulb moment” of realisation that driving in that manner has consequences for himself and others.
After hearing a description of Johnson’s behaviour at a hearing last month the sheriff had bemoaned a “plague of dangerous driving” in Shetland.
The court heard that on 7th March last year, Johnson had driven at “grossly excessive speeds” along the A971, A970 and B9074.
He was reported to have repeatedly crossed the centre line, turned his lights on and off and failed to stop for police.
A blood sample taken after the incident revealed he was three times over the drink driving limit. He was also uninsured.
Defence agent Colin Severin, appearing via audio-link, said his client had been born and raised in Inverness, only moving to Yell aged 16, where he had “somewhat struggled to integrate in his new environment”.
Mr Severin said a criminal justice social work report, prepared for the hearing, showed it was quite clear that Johnson had “a lot of maturing to do”.
At the time of the offence, he said his client was suffering from a period of poor mental health, relating to an abusive relationship he had recently separated from.
Mr Severin said Johnson had been living with his grandparents and “self-medicating through alcohol” which led to some “extremely poor behaviour”.
More recently, he said his client’s situation had improved. He is now living with his father and “appropriate measures” were in place to ensure the behaviour was not repeated.
“He seems to be doing better on the whole,” he said. “He is working as a general labourer and appears to be enjoying the work. He understands he is liable for disqualification.”
Sheriff Cruickshank said it had been a “horrendous example of dangerous driving”.
He fined Johnson a total of £1,600 and disqualified from driving for 16 months.