Drink drive mother banned for four months
A MOTHER of three has been banned for driving for four months after she was caught driving at almost three times the legal alcohol limit on Kilmallie Road, Caol.
Fort William Sheriff Court heard on Monday April 24 that Emma Norval, 35, had been driving to a friend’s house after being locked out of her then home in Caol by her then partner when she was arrested on October 30 last year for driving on Kilmallie Road with a blood alcohol level of 58micrograms, while the legal limit is 22.
Norval had been living with her then partner, the father of her youngest child, for almost a year at this point and she told the court he was ‘ very possessive and controlling’.
On October 29, Norval said there was an ‘awful atmosphere’ in the house and her ex-partner had become verbally abusive after she had cooked him a meal he didn’t want.
She said she had ‘a couple of glasses of wine’ early in the evening and went for a walk to clear her head at around 7.30pm after failing to get her partner to talk things through.
When she returned after around 20 minutes she found he had bolted the front door from the inside, locking her out.
Unable to get in, she sat in the car for around five hours and, after trying one more time to gain access, she decided she needed to get help and attempted to drive to Upper Achintore, but her partner called the police and she was stopped not far from the house and arrested.
Solicitor Hamish Melrose told the court the defence position was that Norval had the defence of necessity because of the situation and her desperation to get to her children in the house.
Procurator Fiscal Martina Eastwood said this defence could not be used as Norval had other options including asking to use a neighbour’s phone to get help or walking and because she had waited five hours before deciding it was necessary to drive away.
She added there was no immediate danger of bodily harm to Norval or anyone else.
Mr Melrose argued there was danger to her mental state and that she had not expected to have been locked out for five hours.
Sheriff William Taylor agreed with the procurator fiscal and said: ‘The facts of the case are that she sat doing nothing for five hours. Her mothering instincts should have taken her into a neighbour’s house’.
As well as the four-month driving ban, the sheriff fined Norval £200.