Oban Sheriff Court

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In charge of a car while over limit

A woman in her parked car at Ganavan Sands, Oban, smelled so strongly of alcohol police officers decided to breath-test her.

Amanda Lawn, aged 35, of 26 Rhuvaal Road, Oban, had a breathalyser reading of 82 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath; the limit is 22.

‘When she got out of her car she was unsteady on her feet, slurring her speech and again there was a strong smell of alcohol coming from her breath,’ Mark Nicol, procurator fiscal depute, told Oban Sheriff Court last week.

Lawn admitted being in charge of a car after consuming excess alcohol. The car engine was running and the lights were on when police came across the car late at night on February 19 this year.

Sheriff Simon Fraser fined her £200 and ordered 10 penalty points be added to her licence. He said: ‘I take into account everything said on your behalf; you are a first offender in the true meaning of the words.’

Lawn’s defence agent Graeme Wright said his client, ‘a young lady of good character who has found herself in circumstances not necessarily of her own making’, had gone to Ganavan ‘to get herself together’. She had experienced major trauma in her life.

‘Turned his life around’

A 32-year-old chef was found to be under the influence of drugs when his car was stopped by police.

Oban Sheriff Court was told at an earlier hearing in June that officers had cause to stop a car driven by Ross Entwistle of Tigh Geal, North Connel, on the A85 on the evening of June 6 last year after he overtook another vehicle at speed.

‘Officers became aware there was a strong smell of cannabis coming from the car,’ James Dunbar, procurator fiscal had said.

Entwistle took a roadside saliva test and this showed positive for cannabis and cocaine.

At the police station a further test showed a level of 253 micrograms of Benzoylecgonine, a chemical produced when cocaine is broken down by the body; the legal limit is 50.

Defence agent Graeme Wright said Entwistle had already surrendered his driving licence. The bereavement of an employer and lockdown had been difficult for the chef, who is very highly regarded by his current employers.

Sheriff Hughes disqualified Entwistle from driving and called for a criminal justice social work report to be prepared, telling him: ‘It is important the court has the appropriate information to help you.’

Entwistle appeared in court again last week, before Sheriff Simon Fraser, and Mr Wright told the court that since the incident Entwistle ‘had turned his life around’.

After listening to the plea in mitigation and reading the reports Sheriff Fraser fined Entwistle £800 and disqualified him from driving for three years, backdated to his initial court appearance in June.