Windfarm worker was five times over drink-driving limit

A windfarm worker’s aspirations to become a paramedic have been dashed after she admitted drink driving – and received a three year ban.

Rachel Jones, 31, was five times over the limit when she gave a breath test following a crash on 15th December last year.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard today (Thursday) that Jones, of Mid-Clyth, Lybster, had been staying at Sella Ness Lodge at the time, working for a security company as part of the Viking Energy windfarm project.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said she had crashed while trying to negotiate the junction between Sella Ness Road and the B9076 at around 9.15pm.

The car ended up in a field and was discovered soon after by a passer-by.

Mr MacKenzie said the passer-by had escorted Jones back to her accommodation before calling the police, having suspected that she had been drinking.

When police attended shortly after 11pm, Jones failed a roadside test and was arrested.

She was taken to Lerwick police station where she blew 117mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 22mg.

Defence agent Craig Broadley acknowledged his client was in a difficult position having previously been convicted of a similar offence in 2018.

While he said Jones had been drinking he said some of it was consumed after the crash when she was back in her accommodation.

Mr Broadley said Jones was currently pregnant and living with her parents and her 10-year-old son in receipt of universal credit.

He said his client had a psychology degree and had hoped to train to become a paramedic – but now accepted that is “unlikely to happen anytime soon”.

The defence agent also noted there had been some “procedural history” regarding the case, although he asked that her guilty plea still be taken into account.

Jones had previously denied the charges and had her case adjourned four times – including on one occasion as she had been on holiday in Zante.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank banned Jones from driving for three years and approved a motion for her car to be forfeited.

For the charge itself, Sheriff Cruickshank admonished Jones saying the financial implications of the forfeiture were sufficient punishment without the need for further fines.

Jones can take a drink driving rehabilitation course to have her ban reduced by a quarter.


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