Drink driver was five times over the limit at school gates

Stranraer Sheriff Court
Stranraer Sheriff Court

A driver who was five times over the drink drive limit when picking her child up from school was fined £750 and banned from driving for two years by a sheriff on Wednesday at the court in Stranraer.

Forty-four-year old Julia Bennet, 1 Penkiln Terrace, Minnigaff, appeared from custody to plead guilty to driving at Hill View, opposite the Douglas Ewart High School, on Tuesday this week, with 124 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, the legal limit being 22.

The accused’s solicitor Paul Feeney said that his client had been battling an alcohol problem for ten years and was now suffering from residual heath issues which had forced her to stop work. He told the court that Bennet had been drinking all weekend after visiting friends and family and continued to drink on into the Monday, as the lawyer explained “she has no off switch”.

Her husband was due to pick up their child from school that day, but as he has not been feeling well, the accused had decided that, as she had not had a drink for some time, she would be fit to drive.

When she was in the vicinity of the school she was stopped by the police and was asked to give a breath test. Mr Feeney said that she had fully complied with the procedure the police officers asked her to undertake.

Sentencing, Sheriff Kenneth Robb said that, because of her early admission of guilt he had reduced her ban from three years to 25 months and her fine from £1000 to £750.