Licensing board hears of drink drive landlady’s ‘difficult time’

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PUB landlady Alison Stovin, who was banned from driving in June for being nearly three times over the legal limit for alcohol, has been given an endorsement on her licence to sell drink.

The sanction, recommended by the police, was handed out on Friday at a meeting of Scottish Borders Licensing Board.

Inspector John Scott recounted how Mrs Stovin, 46, of the Tower Hotel in Oxton, was stopped by police on May 5, having been spotted driving erratically, narrowly avoiding a collision with a motorcyclist at the Carfraemill roundabout. Her two children, aged four and seven, were in the vehicle at the time.

A test recorded a breath-alcohol reading of 100mcgs, the legal limit being 35. She admitted the offence at Selkirk Sheriff Court and on June 6 was fined £400 and banned from driving for 21 months.

“It would be the police recommendation that Mrs Slovin’s personal licence is endorsed,” said Inspector Scott.

Representing Mrs Stovin, solicitor Iain Burke said his client had been through “a difficult time” and, having recently separated from her husband, she was now running the Tower single-handedly, depending on others to drive.

“On the day in question, Mrs Stovin’s husband called to say he would be unable to pick up the children from school in Lauder as had been previously arranged,” said Mr Burke.

“My client had been working until late the previous evening and had been drinking with friends into the early hours. She had no intention of driving that day and she made the last-minute decision, which she deeply regrets, to drive into Lauder, pick up the kids and rush back to the hotel.”

The board unanimously agreed to endorse her personal licence, Councillor Willie Archibald observing: “I am glad she realises the severity of this offence.”

Under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005, drink-driving is considered a “relevant conviction” which must be reported to the licensing board. If a licensee receives three endorsements, the personal licence is automatically revoked.