Drunk nurse caught five times the limit after crashing in Paisley town centre

A community care nurse was almost five times over the legal limit when she crashed her car in the centre of Paisley.

Elaine Hannigan, 49, ploughed her black Peugeot 307 into the barrier at Rowan Street on January 21.

Paisley Sheriff Court heard another motorist who went to check on Hannigan following the smash heard her mumbling and could smell alcohol on her breath.

Procurator fiscal depute Carol Cameron told the court: “The incident was reported at around 7.50pm on Thursday, January 21, when one witness drove near to the locus at Rowan Street, Paisley, and saw the vehicle had crashed into the barrier on the vehicle’s near side.

“The witness could see the vehicle was positioned diagonally on the roadway.

“The roadway was partially blocked and he decided to get out of his car and saw Elaine Hannigan was in the vehicle.

“She was attempting to reverse out of the crash barrier.”

The court heard he went to see of she was alright when he noticed she was drunk.

The prosecutor added: “She mumbled she was under the influence.

“The witness contacted police.

“There was significant damage to her vehicle and she appeared to be intoxicated as she stood near to her car on the pavement.

“Police arrived and spoke to her.

“She admitted, ‘I have had a couple of drinks this afternoon. I have had about four vodka and cokes’.”

She was given a roadside breath test, which she failed, and was taken into police custody, where she was cautioned and charged after further breath specimens were recorded.

Hannigan, of the town’s south end, pleaded guilty to driving while the proportion of alcohol was 107 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath, and the legal limit is 22mcg.

Defence agent Bob Kerr said his client had been working as a community care nurse, but work had dried up during the lockdown, leading her to drinking during the day to ward off feelings of loneliness and boredom.

He said: “She had been working for the same firm for six years and her job involved her driving.

“However, she had issues with the number of people in place in her job and she was also on a zero hours contract.

“She was looking for further employment and had been sitting at home and she started to drink.”

He added she decided to go the shops, “only a two minute drive” from her home on the evening she crashed.

He said: “She can’t explain why she took her car.”

He added she has since left that job.

Sheriff James Spy disqualified her from driving for one year and imposed a £500 fine.

He also advised her to sit and pass the drink driving rehabilitation course before getting behind the wheel again.

Daily Record – Paisley