A Cambuslang woman who drove up the M8 motorway the wrong way while over the limit has been fined.
Mary Clift, whose address was given as Arran Tower, drove down the exit slip road at junction five Harthill and joined the motorway heading eastwards on the westbound carriageway at 2.30am on September 25 last year.
Livingston Sheriff Court heard that two lanes of Scotland’s busiest motorway were closed for westbound traffic at the time and drivers were being asked to use the hard shoulder travelling westwards.
“It was dark and the road was damp and there was a 40mph speed limit in force,” fiscal depute Stewart Houston said.
“At that time two police officers were travelling westwards on the motorway and became aware of the accused travelling towards them - obviously in the wrong direction - on the hard shoulder.
“She saw the police car, stopped, and did a u-turn. She was later detained and there was a smell of alcohol on her which resulted in a relatively low reading of 43mg, with the limit being 35mg.”
Clift pled guilty to dangerous driving when she appeared in the dock last week. The 54-year-old also admitted drink driving.
Her solicitor, Darryl Lovie, told the court Clift had been at a charity function at Shotts and arrangements had been made for her and her partner to stay with friends nearby.
Mr Lovie added: “Her partner left before her with a friend to go to the home where she was staying overnight.
“She was helping the organisers of the evening to clean up at the end of the night when she received a call from her partner who appeared to be in some difficulty or danger.
“Without thinking she went to his aid and got in her car and found him with fairly significant injuries to his head.
“She managed to get him in the vehicle and the intended purpose of her journey was then to take him to hospital.
“In fairness to her she was distressed having witnessed her partner’s injuries. She has not been thinking straight or paying enough attention to the road she was taking and unfortunately took the exit as opposed to the slip road entering the motorway.
“She quickly thereafter appreciated that she had made this error and she stopped her vehicle.
“She apologies for her actions. It had never been her intention to use the car that night - her friend’s home was within walking distance from the social club.
“While she made a bad decision to get into her vehicle I would ask my lord to take into account the facts and circumstances surrounding that decision.
“She has no directly analogous road traffic convictions and she appears to understand and appreciate the impact of this type of behaviour.
“She is thankful that no serious consequences arose from this error.
“Were it not for the assault on her partner and her need to take him to hospital obviously she would have never driven that night.”
However, Sheriff Grahame Fleming was not impressed.
He said: “It does not explain why she took the wrong slip road. That was quite a significant error. Drink must have played a part.”
Mr Lovie replied: “Drink did have a part to play but she had her partner in the passenger seat bleeding heavily and in distress and one can appreciate it was a not a Sunday driver as it were.”
Sheriff Fleming fined Clift £475 for the offences and banned her from driving for 18 months.