A motorist who “could barely keep open his eyes” when stopped by police, has lost his licence for 18 months when he appeared at Magherafelt Magistrates Court.
Piotr Pawel Zarychta (30), of Mullaghboy Heights, Magherafelt, was also fined £265 for driving while having consumed excess alcohol on July 5 this year.
Zarychta was given permission to take part in the drink-driving rehabilitation course, which may entitle him to a three-month reduction in his period of disqualification.
A prosecuting lawyer said police were on mobile patrol at Church Street in Magherafelt when they spotted a car “swerving from side to side” coming towards them.
Counsel claimed that the vehicle narrowly missed hitting the police vehicle.
Continuing, the lawyer said the vehicle was subsequently stopped and, on speaking to the driver, police detected a strong smell of intoxicating liquor.
Lawyer pointed out that the defendant had been assaulted by three individuals on leaving the event and in a panic had run for the car “all in a moment of madness”
She said the driver could barely keep open his eyes and struggled to lift his arm when asked by the police to take the keys out of the ignition.
The prosecutor said Zarychta was taken into custody and provided a breath specimen which showed an alcoholic count of 122mgs.
Admitting the offence, a defence solicitor explained that the defendant had been attending an event for Polish friends at nearby Station Road.
The solicitor said Zarychta had been drinking whiskies and had intended to walk home.
However, the lawyer pointed out that the defendant had been assaulted by three individuals on leaving the event and in a panic had run for the car “all in a moment of madness.”
The solicitor said Zarychta, who had worked as a delivery person for a local firm, was embarrassed and ashamed to be before the court
District Judge Alan White said the disqualification had to reflect the high reading.