Driver was five times over limit

Craigavon Courthouse
Craigavon Courthouse

A 43-year-old man was over five times the limit when he found asleep in his car, Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last Wednesday.

Michael Conway, Dingwell Park, Lurgan, admitted being in charge of a motor vehicle with excess alcohol in his breath on May 11 this year.

He was fined £350 and banned from driving for 18 months.

The court heard that at 11.15am police received a report from an off licence on the Antrim Road, Lurgan.

A man had been refused alcohol and he was seen getting into a car and driving off. This was confirmed by CCTV coverage.

When police arrived at the defendant’s address they saw the car parked outside the flats and Conway was asleep in the front seat with the keys in the ignition. He told police: “I never drove.”

An evidential breath test gave a reading of 181 – the limit is 35.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said this was an exceptionally high reading, in excess of five times the limit and this was in the morning.

Mr Peter Murphy, representing the defendant, said Conway had been drinking the whole night.

He explained that his client had since gone through two life saving operations after suffering ongoing pain and discomfort.

Mr Murphy added that Conway wasn’t believed that he had a problem but it got so bad he began to drink heavily. There was nothing previous on his record.

Judge Kelly said the 18 month ban was reflective of the high reading and she told the defendant if he had anything previous on his record he would be looking at a prison sentence for that reading.