A FORMER campaigner against alcohol misuse has been banned from the roads for 10 years and given strict community sentences after being found drunk behind the wheel of her car twice in the space of three weeks.

In one incident, Eileen McArthur, a former senior planning officer for Focus On Alcohol Angus, was caught driving while almost five times the legal limit, and in the other she crashed her car. On both occasions she had been reported by the public to police because of how drunk she was.

McArthur, who now runs an event management firm, could have been jailed. Instead, she was handed the driving ban and Sheriff Kevin Veal also imposed an 18-month Com­munity Payback Order and put her on an electronic tag restricting her to her home address from 9pm to 7am for six months.

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McArthur, 47, of Glamis, pleaded guilty at Forfar Sheriff Court to driving in Forfar, and on other roads between Forfar and her home last August 19 with an alcohol count of 171 microgrammes in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

She further admitted driving or attempting to drive in Main Street, Glamis, near Forfar, on September 9 while unfit through drink or drugs.

Bob Bruce, defending, said: "Her marriage broke down and she was using alcohol as a crutch. Her life has been ruined by this. She may never find paid employment again."

Sheriff Veal said: "Other people have had to face domestic tragedies in their personal lives and relationships, but they do not then become a danger to the wider community by going behind the wheel of a car after she had been drinking to excess.

"As a former employee of the alcohol awareness project she perhaps should have been in a better position than most people to have an acute awareness of the risk to the public and the consequences of driving with excess alcohol."

Carole Whittingham, of the Campaign Against Drink Driving said: "I have heard of five-and-a-half times the limit, but have certainly never heard of that level for a female driver."