An Aghalee man who crashed his car into a field when he was drunk was banned from driving for two years last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.
Michael Mulholland (37), Grant’s Lane, Aghalee, was also fined £400, with a £15 offender’s levy, for driving with excess alcohol on August 2.
The court heard that a police patrol saw a vehicle in a field at Grant’s Lane and there were a number of people with a tractor trying to pull it out.
A member of the public pointed out the driver and Mulholland got into the passenger’s seat of a vehicle.
When police spoke to him he was unsteady on his feet and smelled of intoxicating liquor. There was grass and mud on his trousers.
Mulholland said the car belonged to his deceased father and that some other person had been driving it.
He was arrested for driving while unfit and it was discovered that the vehicle was registered to the defendant. An evidential breath test gave a reading of 111 - the legal limit is 35.
A barrister representing Mulholland said he had a relevant record and just missed out on an immediate three year ban by a month.
She said that all the entries involved alcohol and since a drunk in charge conviction earlier in the year when he fell asleep in a vehicle he had abstained from alcohol.
The barrister added that in July Mulholland’s father had gone to work in the Shetland Islands where he died from a heart attack.
She added that it had taken two weeks to get the body back to Northern Ireland and it was against that background that Mulholland started drinking again.
It was a very high reading, she said, and he had only limited recollection of what happened. Since this incident he had been attending AA on a daily basis.