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Drink driver who wedged car in hedge couldn’t understand why police were called

Jacqueline Clark appeared at Banff Sheriff Court.
Jacqueline Clark appeared at Banff Sheriff Court.

A slurring drink driver told the emergency service she was puzzled why they’d been called – even though her car was hanging precariously from a hedge.

Jacqueline Clark was almost three times over the drink-driving limit when she crashed on the B9022 between Huntly and Portsoy on July 4.

Banff Sheriff Court heard how the 58-year-old was found within her car by a fellow motorist near the junction for Portsoy at around 9.50pm.

Fiscal deputy Ellen Barr said a witness came across debris on the road as well as Clark’s car, which the court was told was “lodged in a hedge”.

Miss Barr said: “He stopped and saw her within the vehicle and managed to help her out. He could smell alcohol and saw her struggling as she attempted to walk.”

Car in ‘precarious position’

Police and fire crews were called as the car was “hanging in a precarious position and deemed unsafe to move,” the court was told.

Despite this, Clark failed to understand why they had been called.

The fiscal added: “A fire chief spoke to her and noted her speech was slurred. Police then spoke to her, at which point she said she didn’t understand why emergency services were present as nobody had died.”

Defence agent Debbie Wilson said her client, who has health difficulties and is cared for by her 19-year-old son, was “embarrassed” by her behaviour.

She said: “She is mortified by what she has done. If she hadn’t been drinking she wouldn’t have done this. It is totally out of character.

“She is aware that not having a license is going to be difficult and will affect her health and the way they are managing her condition and disability.”

Clark admitted driving with an alcohol breath reading of 64mg in 100ml, the legal limit being 22.

Sheriff Robert McDonald banned Clark, of Gordon Crescent in Portsoy, from the road for 12 months and fined her £420. Both punishments were reduced from 18 months and £600 respectively, in light of her guilty plea.

 

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