Lindsay Johnston (pictured) had been on a vodka bender before taking to the roads
A mother-of-three who was more than six times the legal drink limit when she caused a four-car smash on her way to collect her children narrowly avoided a jail sentence today.
Lindsay Johnston, 34, was suffering from the effects of a vodka bender when the incident occurred at 1.25 in the afternoon, as she turned into a side street in Stenhousemuir, Stirlingshire.
Prosector Ashley Smith said there was ‘a bottleneck of traffic’ and a car had stopped to let another vehicle through. Johnston did not even see the stopped vehicle until it was too late.
Miss Smith said: ‘She collided with the rear of the stationary car, and pushed it into the rear of a car in front of that, which was also waiting in the traffic.
‘Then she crossed the carriageway and collided with a third car coming the other way.’
Falkirk Sheriff Court was told that police were called and ‘detected a smell of alcohol’ from Johnston.
After failing a roadside breathalyser, Johnston was taken to Falkirk Police Station where she gave a breath sample that contained 139 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres, more than 6.3 times the legal limit, which is 22.
All four cars were damaged in the incident occurred on September 22. Unemployed Johnston, of Larbert, Stirlingshire, pleaded guilty earlier this month to drink-driving and careless driving. Sentence had been deferred until today for reports.
Defence solicitor Robert Smith said his client had been on her way to pick up her two oldest children, who had been seeing their father, from a centre where that had been taking place.
He said: ‘She had been drinking the night before and had consumed considerable quantities of vodka. She had intended to take a taxi but was running late.
‘She thought she was all right to drive. It’s difficult to understand how. There was a log-jam of traffic and she noticed it too late.’
He said the incident had been ‘a wake-up call’ for Johnston, who was now attending an alcohol counselling service.
He added that her car, a 13-year-old Renault Scenic Dynamique said to be worth £1,200, was written off in the pile-up.
Sheriff John Mundy said: ‘She was almost seven times the limit – we’re in the territory of considering a custodial sentence.’
He sentenced Johnston to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work under a community payback order as an alternative to jail, and banned her from driving for three years.
Johnston made no comment as she left court.