A stumbling Angus 69-year-old is to face a court hearing over whether a small sherry or three large Martinis was the cause of her drink-drive downfall.
Kathleen Renilson told police she’d had just a “small glass of sherry” after she staggered out of her Forfar home to meet them, minutes after worried staff at the town’s Tesco raised the alarm over her intoxicated state when they saw her drive out of the supermarket car park.
At Forfar Sheriff Court, Renilson admitted being behind the wheel while more than four times the drink-drive limit in the tea-time incident last September.
She told the court she does not even like sherry and her version of events, in which she claimed to have swigged straight Martini in the minutes after arriving home, was questioned by a sheriff who has now banned her from the road ahead of a mitigation proof into the matter.
Renilson, of Arbroath Road, Forfar, admitted driving with excess alcohol in the town on September 22 with a breath alcohol reading of 90 microgrammes, against a legal limit of 22.
Depute fiscal Laura McGillvery said: “Colleagues in the store became concerned and believed her to be highly intoxicated due to her demeanour.
“At 17.27 she was observed leaving the store and walking across the car park to her vehicle before driving off.”
Store staff contacted police who arrived at Renilson’s home at 10 minutes to six.
The fiscal added: “She answered the door and proceeded to stumble out of her front door, swaying as she spoke.”
The court heard two officers had noted Renilson as saying she had a “small glass of sherry” after she got home.
She gave a positive reading at her home and was then arrested and taken to Dundee police headquarters where the reading of 90 mics breath alcohol reading was obtained.
Renilson had been due to go to trial on a defence of post-incident drinking, but tendered a guilty plea after solicitor Brian Bell told the court an expert report had indicated she was “clearly over the limit at the time she was in Tescos”.
“She indicates she doesn’t drink sherry, it was Martini, which a receipt from the store confirms she bought,” said Ms McGillvery.
“She indicates she consumes 180mls of Martini, which she was able to measure from the bottle.”
Sheriff Derek Reekie said he was at a “total loss” over how to deal with the matter due to the conflicting version offered by Renilson against that of the noted evidence the police.
He said that while there was post-incident drinking, the court was being asked to accept the accused had downed three glasses of Martini in, at most, 11 minutes after she arrived home.
A proof in the case was set for March.