Motorist spotted swerving about road is handed two-year ban

The driver of a car spotted by a police mobile patrol swerving towards the central white line and braking sporadically on Moneymore Road, Magherafelt, has lost his licence for two years.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 5:22 pm

Forty-eight-year-old Pawel Stojanowski from Piney Hill, Magherafelt, was fined £200 with a £15 offender levy for driving while having consumed excess alcohol on December 12 last.

Stojanowski was fined a further £200 with a £15 offender levy for being in charge of a car with excess alcohol in breath and careless driving on November 21 last.

Imposing the penalties at Magherafelt Magistrates Court on Wednesday, District Judge Oonagh Mullan remarked it was “very concerning” he was stopped for excess alcohol within a month of the other offences.

She also said that the alcohol reading in breath was “extremely high”.

Ms Mullan certified Stojanowski for the drink drivers’ rehabilitation course which, if completed successfully, will entitle him to a reduction in his period of disqualification.

Outlining the facts for December 12, a prosecuting lawyer said at approximately 10.20pm police on patrol at Moneymore Road spotted a car swerving about on the road towards the central white line and braking sporadically.

She said police later stopped it and spoke to the defendant at Piney Hill and requested a preliminary breath test which showed an alcoholic count of 106mgs.

The lawyer said an evidential specimen was obtained, revealing a reading of 98mgs of alcohol in breath - the limit is 35.

Continuing the lawyer said on November 21, police received a report of a car driving erratically between Randalstown and Toome. Counsel said police later spoke to the defendant who was sitting in the back seat of a car parked on a hard shoulder at Aughrim Road, Magherafelt.

She said there was no other person in the vehicle which had a strong smell of alcohol, and there was a bottle of whiskey in the foot well.

The lawyer said the defendant denied he had been driving, and claimed his wife had been driving but this was later denied. He also told police that a friend had been driving and had gone off.

A breath specimen at Dungannon custody suite showed he had an alcohol reading of 102mgs.

A defence lawyer said the defendant had entered an early guilty plea to the charges at the first available opportunity.

He is working as a joiner and is likely to lose his job when he is disqualified as he is required to drive between jobs, she said.

In relation to the incident in December, the lawyer said the defendant had been at a friend’s house and had a couple of drinks but felt fit to drive.

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