An alcoholic ambulance driver who lost her job after getting behind the wheel of her car while more than three times the limit was banned from the road yesterday.
Married mum-of-two Emma Galashan admitted trying to drive her child home from a sports centre after having a drink.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard that, as a result of the offence, the 40-year-old had to give up her job with the Scottish Ambulance Service.
After seeking help for her problem, she is now channelling her energy into counselling those with similar addictions.
The court heard that worried witnesses contacted the police after they noticed Galashan’s car being driven erratically near the Garioch Sports Centre in Inverurie on September 1.
Fiscal depute Karen Dow said a member of the public approached her car to check on her and found her in the driver’s seat smelling strongly of alcohol.
Ms Dow said that person took Galashan’s car keys off her and called her husband to take her home.
When police arrived later at Galashan’s house, they noticed she had been drinking.
When a breath-test was carried out they found she had 126microgrammes of alcohol in 100millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.
Galashan’s agent, solicitor Bruce Macdonald, said his client had been dependent on alcohol for about two years before she committed the offence.
He said that, although she accepted she had been drinking the night before she got into the car, she claimed to have consumed more alcohol after she returned to her house.
Mr Macdonald said he believed this may have caused such a high reading.
The court heard Galashan had taken steps to change her life.
She had started to receive counselling herself for her addiction and was hoping to start a new course which would allow her to use her own experiences to help others through similar problems.
Mr Macdonald said Galashan, of 22 Nether Blackhall, Inverurie, was “utterly ashamed” of herself and her “disgraceful behaviour”, which spoiled her unblemished record.
Sheriff William Summers said he had taken into account everything she had done to improve her life since the incident.
He added: “I recognise the difficulties you found yourself in when these offences took place and the steps you have taken to rectify them.”
Galashan was banned from driving for two years but was told she could reduce the disqualification by four months if she completed a rehabilitation course. She was also fined £720.