Motorist ‘turned away’ from PSNI checkpoint

editorial image

A motorist who turned away from a police checkpoint near Portglenone has lost his licence for 12 months.

Lee McFall (23) from Bannview Terrace, Portglenone, was also fined £200 and ordered to pay a £15 offender levy.

Magherafelt Magistrates Court was told on Wednesday that police were operating the checkpoint on the Clady Road at approximately 1.20am when they observed a car turning away.

A prosecuting lawyer said police stopped the vehicle and on speaking to the defendant detected a strong smell of intoxicating liquor.

She said McFall was arrested and conveyed to the custody suite where he provided a breath specimen which showed an alcohol reading of 66mgs.

Admitting the offence Stephen Atherton, solicitor, said the defendant has been driving for three years without incident.

Mr Atherton stressed McFall was “deeply remorseful” for what he had done.

He explained the defendant had stopped at a bar on his way home from work and “overstayed his welcome.”

Mr Atherton said the car was parked outside and, unfortunately, McFall had given into the temptation of getting into it and driving home. “It’s a decision that he will regret for a long time,” he added.

Imposing the penalties, District Judge Steven Keown told the defendant that hopefully he will never appear in court again.

Mr Keown certified the defendant suitable to take part in the drink driving rehabilitation course, which may entitle him to a reduction in his period of disqualification.