Dundee woman drove at more than seven times limit

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A woman who drove through Dundee city centre while more than seven times the drink-drive limit has been told: “Prison would be justified for this.”

Marilyn Lawrence was caught behind the wheel in Dundee’s Meadowside — which runs from the city’s Wellgate shopping centre through the city centre — last month.

She was detained by police and took a breath test — and gave a reading almost seven-and-a-half times the new limit, which was imposed in December last year.

Lawrence, 39, of Naltam House, Dundee, pleaded guilty on summary complaint to a charge of driving with 164 microgrammes of alcohol in her breath.

The limit is 22 — meaning she was almost exactly seven-and-a-half times the legal limit.

The offence took place on June 25.

At Dundee Sheriff Court, Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC deferred sentence until next month for Lawrence to attend alcohol counselling sessions and for a supplementary background report.

She said: “At this level of alcohol, custody would be justified for this.

“It is clear to me that anyone who can get behind the wheel of a car with that level of alcohol has problem with alcohol.”

Scotland’s drink-drive limit was slashed in December 2014.

The previous limit for breath tests was 35 microgrammes in 100 millilitres of breath.

But even at that Lawrence would have been more than four-and-a- half times the limit.

Richard Coteau, a spokesman for the road safety charity Brake, criticised the woman’s actions.

He said: “This is an appalling case. Drink-driving kills and, as a charity that supports road crash victims, we know only too well the suffering that results from drivers who take selfish risks.

“The drink-drive limit is in place for a reason, and anyone who breaks it shows a complete disrespect for the law and puts the lives of all road users at risk.

“Getting behind the wheel after drinking any amount of alcohol is potentially very dangerous, which is why Brake supports a zero-tolerance limit of 20mg per 100ml of blood.”