Depressed Dungannon father, who drank bottle of wine at local lake and fell asleep in car, avoids losing licence

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A Dungannon man has avoided losing his driving licence after being found guilty of being in charge of a vehicle whilst drunk.

Jeremy Dobson, 44, from Clarefield Court, appeared at Dungannon Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

The court heard how on March 16, police responded to a call from a member of the public, stating that the defendant had been spotted in a car at a local lake, drinking a bottle of wine.

When police called to the scene, they found the defendant asleep in his vehicle with the seat reclined backwards and the key in the ignition.

A subsequent alcohol test showed a reading of 75mcg.

His defence solicitor told the court that Dobson, a father of five children, three of whom were adopted, had been recently divorced.

He had been suffering from depression since the break-up, and on the morning of the incident could not find his medication.

Dobson had also tried to contact his GP to seek help, but had been unable to get an appointment.

Subsequently, he bought some food and a bottle of wine, and went to the lay by of a local lake. His solicitor stressed that Dobson had no intention to drive home in an intoxicated state.

He added that the loss of his licence would adversely affect Dobson’s ability to run his business and maintain contact with his five children.

The judge told Dobson that he was somewhat sceptical of the defendant’s claim that he wasn’t going to drive home. However, he would give him the benefit of the doubt, handing him 10 penalty points and a £200 fine.