Bad news is ‘no excuse’

A driver who was over twice the alcohol limit began drinking for the first time in 15 years after learning his 18-month old grandson was to undergo heart surgery.

Forty-four-year-old Ilgonis Belka, of Trinity Street, had just received a call from family in his native Latvia telling him of the child’s health problems.

At Jedburgh Sheriff Court, the first offender admitted driving in Havelock Street, on March 6, with a breath/alcohol; reading of 89mcgs – the legal limit being 35.

Solicitor Alison Marshall, defending, said her client had turned to alcohol for the first time in 15 years after hearing the news.

“He puts it down to stress and worry,” said Miss Marshall.

Sheriff Donald Corke told Belka, “Whatever bad news you got is no excuse to drive around while you are drunk. I am not going to fine you, as you have spent a night in custody, and I assume you are saving up to go home.”

Belka was admonished, but banned from driving for 18 months.