A mother of two left court smiling after receiving a reduced driving ban for losing control of her car while drunk and with young children in the vehicle.
Katrina Craib – who was banned for drink driving less than a year ago – walked away from Perth’s JP Court with a 12 month disqualification and £400 fine after her lawyer exploited a legal loophole to limit her punishment.
Justice of the Peace Geoffrey Daniel even told Craib it would be “a good idea” if she further cut the ban to just nine months by completing a driver rehab course.
Yesterday, the mother-of-two admitted driving while almost twice the legal limit in Pitfour, St Madoes, Perthshire, on September 2 2018.
Fiscal depute Mairi Graham told the court Craib had been involved in a minor collision and raced home from the scene, pouring a large glass of wine in a bid to fool police into thinking she had only been drinking after the crash.
The fiscal said: “There were numerous children and pedestrians in the vicinity. It was 1.50pm on a Sunday. She had two children in the car.
“A witness was driving towards her and observed the accused appearing to drift towards the near side. There was a minor collision and the vehicle came to a stop.
“Police were contacted and given her details by some of the residents who had seen this. At the time there were suspicions amongst them regarding her sobriety.
“Officers attended her home just after 2pm. She stated she had consumed wine following the collision. They observed half of a large glass of wine. They were of the opinion she had poured the wine prior to them arriving, in essence to cover up what she had done.”
Craib, Sidlaw Park, St Madoes, told the officers: “I had a full bottle of vodka last night.”
She was arrested and taken to Perth Police HQ, where she admitted being the driver of the Ford Focus and gave a reading almost double the legal limit.
Craib, 41, was already banned for 22 months at the city’s sheriff court last May after she was found guilty of drink driving on 18 October 2018.
Craib’s solicitor David Holmes effectively reversed the order of her offences, so the earlier one was dealt with second – and she therefore appeared twice as a “first offender.”
Mr Holmes said: “She had another case which has been dealt with. She is currently disqualified. She felt able to drive in this case.”
He said Craib had suffered the loss of both of her parents in quick succession and her husband had left her at around the same time.
Mr Holmes said: “She had all of that to deal with. She lost her job. She had previously worked in social care. She thought she was coping, but looking back, realises she was not coping.”
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JP Mr Daniel banned Craib for a year – instead of the mandatory minimum three year ban for a second offence – and said: “I am sure you were aware of the children who were round about at the time – the ones in your car and the ones in the street.
“I am not going to labour the point but it is something you should not forget. Your ban can be reduced to nine months if you agree to take the drink driving scheme. I think this is a good idea.”
Last May, Craib claimed she drank half a bottle of vodka in 40 minutes to warm up for a movie night with friends.
She claimed she was over the legal limit after downing the equivalent of a measure of vodka in under three minutes – 14 times in a row.
She said she had drunk the half bottle the day before as she prepared for a night with friends and was still over the limit the next day when she was stopped by police.
Sheriff William Wood rejected her claim of “morning after” drinking and said he was satisfied that her story was “implausible and incredible” and that she should be found guilty.
“I am satisfied Miss Craib is implausible and incredible in terms of the evidence she provided. I am satisfied she did drive after consuming alcohol.”
Craib had been stopped on her way to a supermarket and was found to be showing clear signs of being under the influence of alcohol. She was unsteady on her feet.