Driver was ‘very close to alcohol poisoning’

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A 41-year-old woman who was nearly four times the legal limit was told she was close to alcohol poisoning last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

Nicola Briege McGuigan, whose address was given as Hillcrest Manor, Craigavon, admitted driving with excess alcohol in her breath on October 26 last year.

The case had been adjourned to get a pre-sentence report.

The court heard that a police mobile patrol saw a car swerving on the Lake Road in Craigavon.

It then stopped at a roundabout with its hazard lights flashing.

They arrested the defendant who was driving. She failed a preliminary test and an evidential breath test gave a reading of 138 – the limit is 35.

Defence solicitor Siun Downey said it was a massive reading and her client’s record did her no favours.

She explained that the defendant didn’t want her nephew to walk home alone and experienced a panic attack when the police arrived.

Miss Downey said McGuigan was going to AA meetings and wanted to work with community addictions. Her father had taken the car and sold it for scrap.

District Judge Greg McCourt told the defendant she was ‘very close to alcohol poisoning’ and she would have to take it one day at a time with her drinking.

He imposed a 12 month probation order and banned her from driving for 16 months.