Edinburgh motorist drank whisky - then parked on busy road

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A pensioner who forced motorists to swerve around her by parking on the A9 trunk road was found to be more than five times over the drink drive limit.

Wheelchair-bound Margaret Kerr, 68, was banned from driving for five years at Perth Sheriff Court yesterday.

She was also fined £4,000 pounds.

The court was told Kerr had been downing whisky at the wheel and had drunk enough during a 25-mile stretch that she was five times over the limit.

Kerr was so drunk that she parked in a lane of the busy southbound carriageway when she thought she had pulled into a lay-by.

Several motorists had to swerve past her, the court was told.

She had been returning from her holiday cottage to her Edinburgh home when she gulped down a large quantity of whisky to “quell the pain” of her left knee, which needed replaced.

Kerr, of Belford Road, in the Capital, admitted drink driving on the A9 at the Pass of Killiecrankie on September 3this year.

The court was also told that she had two previous drink related motoring convictions.

Fiscal depute Carol Whyte said: “Police received a call about a vehicle being parked on the inside lane of the A9.

“The vehicle’s side and tail lights were on and the engine was running.

“The position of the vehicle meant that traffic was required to swerve to avoid colliding with her.

“She told officers she believed she was parked within a lay-by.

“Officers helped her out of her vehicle and she provided a positive roadside breath test.

“The lower reading was 117 mics,” she added.

Kerr told the police at the time: “I was under duress because of the pain in my left knee.”

Solicitor David Holmes, defending, said Kerr had drunk the whisky to “quell the pain” in her knee.

He said: “Normally her husband would drive.

“He did not travel this time so she was driving on her own.

“She had set out on the return journey.

“She had not taken her painkillers because she was driving and they made her drowsy.

“She had not initially taken alcohol before the journey either.

“As she drove she found the pain in her knee was excruciating and she started drinking whisky.

“She drank to quell the pain.

“She would stop to drink something and then drive on.

“She recognises there has been a problem with alcohol.

“She had sought help for that in 2015 and that seemed to work well enough,” he added.

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis banned Kerr from driving for five years and ordered her to re-sit the extended driving test.

He said the ban, combined with her age, might be enough to keep her off the road for good.

He added that a “significant monetary penalty” was the appropriate way to mark the gravity of the offence and fined her 4,000 pounds.