Drunk driver was stopped after ‘nearly hitting the kerb’

The driver of a car spotted by police moving from side to side on the central white line of the Maghera Road, Tobermore, was given a 15-month disqualification at Magherafelt Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 2:24 pm

Labourer Noel John Meenan from Lenagh Road, Omagh, was followed by police on mobile patrol from the Glenshane Road at approximately 9.50pm on January 27 this year.

Prosecuting counsel told Deputy District Judge Noel Dunlop that police stopped the vehicle after it nearly collided with the kerb.

Meenan was also fined £400 with a £15 offender for driving while having consumed excess alcohol.

Counsel said police spoke to the defendant and detected a smell of intoxicating liquor coming from inside the vehicle.

The lawyer explained that Meenan provided a preliminary specimen which showed an alcoholic count of 123 mgs in breath.

She said he was arrested and later gave another breath specimen while in custody showing a reading of 112mg.

Admitting the offence on behalf of his client defence lawyer Michael Forde said it was a “high reading” but stressed Meenan had a limited criminal record.

He explained that on this occasion the 37-year-old had been working in Scotland as a labourer and had come home.

Mr Forde said the defendant could lose his job as a result of losing his licence.

He said he lived in a very rural area and he would find it very difficult to get about and continue with his employment.

Mr Forde pleaded with the court to show leniency as the defendant was a hard working man with a limit record.

Imposing the penalties, Mr Dunlop said he would have to make the disqualification 15 months because of the high reading.

Mr Dunlop said he would certify the defendant suitable for the drink driving rehabilitation course which if completed successfully, would entitle him to a reduction in his period of disqualification.

He also gave the defendant 26 weeks to pay the fines.

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