A PENSIONER drank vodka for Dutch courage to help her drive to the shops - and ended up on the wrong side of the road.

Lena Croft-Smith, 73, from Dundonald Road in Troon admitted she was too scared to drive to the supermarket, and boozing for confidence was a mistake as she almost caused a serious accident.

Anxious Croft-Smith was more than twice over the limit when police attended the scene on October 12 last year.

The alcohol seemed to kick in when she leftthe supermarket as it was then her dangerous driving became apparent and found her swerving across a main road and towards oncoming traffic, Depute Fiscal Lindzi Bayne told Ayr Sheriff Court: “At 11.15am the accused was driving in a Volkswagen Golf at Dundonald Road in Troon, she veered into the opposing carriageway, coming to a halt and narrowly avoided another vehicle.”

An ambulance attended with police who saw the pensioner satin the car, meanwhile concerned members of the public got out their cars to see if everything was ok.

Ms Bayne added: “Police observed the accused in the vehicle, she was sitting in the driver’s side with a small bottle of vodka that was nearly empty which was smelled from her breath.

“She was informed she was under arrest.”

Police found the pensioner to be of 125 milligrammes(mg) of alcohol in 100 millilitres(ml) of blood which exceeded the legal limit of 50 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood when she was taken for road traffic procedure tests.

Smith appeared at the dock without a solicitor and told the court she was happy to speak for herself.

Apologetic for the drunk driving, Croft-Smith told the court: “I’m very sorry. It was a mistake and I’m sorry. I don’t drive anymore. My husband drives and he has the car.”

Sheriff Desmond Leslie told her the matter was of “some concern”

She explained: “It was to give me a bit of courage to get from the shops to my home. It was a mistake.”

Sheriff Leslie fined Smith £400.

The 73-year-old was also banned for 18 months.