A hospital worker from Lasswade was caught a massive nine times over the drink drive limit - after claiming she had only downed three pints of lager.
Celia Broadhurst got behind the wheel of her car after indulging in an afternoon drinking session with pal who was making a surprise visit from London.
Broadhurst, who works as care co-ordinator at Edinburgh’s Liberton Hospital, was then spotted by passing motorists as she weaved all over the road as she made her way home.
Police were called in and after officers arrived at her house in Lasswade the NHS employee tried to blame the high reading on having just drunk three pints.
On Wednesday an astonished sheriff told Broadhurst (34), that “it was a surprise you were actually conscious, let alone able to drive” following her heavy bender last month.
Broadhurst, who had previously pleaded guilty to driving with 196mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, broke down in the dock at the capital’s sheriff court as she was banned from the road for two years and ordered to carry out unpaid work.
The legal limit is just 22mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.
Broadhurst works with elderly patients as an activities co-ordinator at the capital’s Liberton Hospital and the court heard she is expected to keep her job despite the conviction.
Previously the court was told the NHS employee blew the high reading at her home on July 18 this year after police had been called to investigate following several calls of erratic driving from concerned members of the public.
Solicitor Gillian Bowen said: “She did think she was fit to drive and My Lord might find it incredible that after three pints of lager she would have such a reading but that is her position and will not waiver from that.
“She made a conscious decision to drive knowing she would be over the limit. She discussed it with her friend who said she was fine to drive.”
Sheriff Gordon Liddle said: “I do not have to believe everything I am told. She says she had three pints of lager but I am at a loss how that could be possible with the reading as it is.
“It is not a position that I accept.”
Following a brief break Broadhurst changed her story and said she could now not remember how much she had drunk that afternoon and that her friend had told her it was three pints.
Sheriff Liddle added: “You could easily have found yourself in the High Court facing a period, probably into double figures, of imprisonment having killed someone.
“You already know this is a reading that is rarely found in this court.
“It is at the very extreme end of readings and I have already said I am surprised you were able to function at all let alone control a lethal weapon you were in charge of.
“You could have destroyed your own family and destroyed other people’s families.”
Broadhurst was spared custody and instead was banned from driving for 24 months and given nine months to complete 120 hours of unpaid work in the community.