Driver turns up drunk to pick up doctor’s prescription

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A Tiree woman who smelled overpoweringly of alcohol when she picked up a doctor’s prescription has been fined and banned from driving.

Shona Maire Johnston of The Braes, Cornaigbeg, admitted driving on a B road near Baugh Surgery on September 13 last year while over the drink drive limit.

A breath test showed the 52-year-old had 117 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, the prescribed limit being 22 micrograms, last week’s Oban Sheriff Court heard.

Surgery staff noticed her smelling of alcohol, being unsteady on her feet and having to hold herself upright by leaning on a wall, the court was told.

When the receptionist asked Johnston how she had got to the surgery, she denied getting there by bus or car.

She had difficulty signing for her prescription and when she left, staff followed her out and saw the accused had parked her car on a grass verge and was on her hands and knees.

They offered to help her and she replied: ‘It’s fine, my knee has gone.’ Staff got her to her feet and tried to encourage her back into the surgery to see to a graze but she was intending to drive.

Johnston refused their help, they went back inside the surgery and watched her drive off.

The police were contacted and went to Johnston’s home where she was drinking when they arrived.

She was co-operative and confirmed she had been driving but denied drinking earlier that morning.

Defence solicitor Eddie Thornton said his client, who had never been in trouble before of any nature, had experienced an alcohol problem for a considerable amount of time, made worse in the last few years because of mental health issues. She had used alcohol as a form of self-medication, added Mr Thornton.

Johnston, who is currently suspended from working for Argyll and Bute Council because of her health difficulties, is now on medication that has stabilised her, said Mr Thornton adding she hopes to return to her job.

Sheriff Patrick Hughes fined her £400, endorsed her licence and banned her from driving for 15 months reduced to 12 months if she successfully completes a drink driver rehabilitation course.