Drink driver was almost four times limit

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The actions of a ‘very decent member of society’ drew police attention to a drunk driver who was almost four times the limit, Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last Wednesday.

Joanne Elizabeth Mulholland (43), whose address was given as Loughview, Craigavon, was fined £300 and banned for two years for driving with excess alcohol in breath on August 7 this year.

She was also ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy.

The court heard at 2am at Bartin’s Bay Road a member of the public was travelling behind a vehicle which was being driven erratically.

The driver managed to stay behind the vehicle and inform police who found the defendant in the driver’s seat.

She smelled of intoxicating liquor.

After failing a preliminary breath test an evidential test gave a reading of 121 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the limit is 35 microgrammes.

A solicitor representing Mulholland said she had been drinking at a friend’s house and intended to stay overnight.

He explained that there was an argument and she was asked to leave. Foolishly she took the decision to drive.

She had a previous similar conviction in 2000.

Deputy District Judge Neil Rafferty said it was an exceptionally high reading, almost four times the limit.

He added that he could not ignore the reading or the fact there was a previous conviction, albeit 16 years ago.

The judge paid tribute to the unknown member of society who took it on themselves to follow the car and inform the police.

“This was a very decent member of society who did a decent thing,” said Judge Rafferty.

Imposing the two year disqualification he certified the defendant suitable for the drink driving course which if she completes it would reduce the ban to 18 months.