Police caught a banned Angus OAP driving her motability car on the first day of UK lockdown – four months after she was put off the road for being more than three times the legal limit.
Isla Gillan was slammed for a sheriff for the follow-up offence in March and told she had come close to going behind bars.
The 66-year-old, from Auchmithie, near Arbroath had been disqualified for more than three years after admitting the offences when she appeared at Forfar Sheriff Court.
Gillan pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in various Arbroath streets on November 13 last year. Her breath alcohol reading of 71 microgrammes was more than three times the legal limit of 22.
The pensioner was the subject of an interim ban when she was then caught driving while disqualified on the Arbroath to Auchmithie road on March 16 – the day Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the nationwide lockdown.
Sheriff Gregor Murray said he noted “significant” factors in Gillan’s case, including her poor health and unfortunate personal circumstances surrounding her husband’s death.
He added: “I also accept that the day of the second offence was the day lockdown started.
“That doesn’t excuse what you did,” said the sheriff.
He said a background reported had highlighted the part alcohol played in the accused’s life, living in the quiet village away from Arbroath.
Sheriff Murray continued: “One thing which sticks out is that it (the second offence) took place in March 2020, four months after the first, yet you still had your motability car.
“That suggests a clear lack of thought on your part – you knew very well what was going to happen.
“The second offence is much more serious and was an aggravated one. You came very close to being sent to jail,” the sheriff said.
“I make it clear to you that if you appear in this court again in relation to any case connected to driving, that is where you will be going.”
Gillan was fined £500 and banned for 40 months on the drink-drive charge.
The sheriff sentenced her to 180 hours of unpaid work for the disqualified driving offence, giving the accused two-and-a-half years to complete the community payback order in light of the pandemic situation.
He told her that was close to the maximum number of unpaid hours he could impose.