View Full Version : Banned but not fined

02-Sep-16, 07:41
Drinks driver's emergency an "exceptional case"

A DRINKS DRIVER, who was caught at a Thurso hospital where he had taken his partner for emergency treatment, attracted sympathy from a sheriff yesterday.

Andrew Henderson, 37, was banned for a year but Sheriff Andrew Berry refrained from imposing a fine on him, in light of the "exceptional circumstances".

His partner required treatment for a suspected medication overdose at the Dunbar Hospital's A and E department on November 22, last year when the nursing staff got the smell of alcohol. The accused admitted he had been drinking and handed over his car keys and the police were informed, Wick Sheriff Court heard yesterday.

Henderson told officers he had been concerned that the ambulance he had summed from their home at 8 The Terrace, Reay village, might not arrive soon enough, and had decided to drive his partner the 10 miles to the hospital, in the early hours. Tests on Henderson, who pleaded guilty, revealed a blood-alcohol level of 90mgs - the limit is 50mgs.

Solicitor Fiona MacDonald said that the couple's finances were in "dire straits" as they had recently moved, and that the accused's benefit has been suspended temporarily.

She told the court: "Henderson had been drinking, earlier, but decided to take his partner to hospital himself, out concern for her welfare. He accepts it was the wrong decision and that he should have called a taxi instead."

Sheriff Berry took account of the couple finances and the fact that Henderson was a first offender.

He told him: "I think we would all agree that this case is very unusual and there exceptional circumstances. You acted in good faith but you have pleaded guilty."