Judge points to an ‘exceptionally high’ reading

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After falling in with friends and taking drink a 55-year-old man was seen getting into a car by police, Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last Friday.

Derek John McCord, Sandringham Court, Portadown, admitted being in charge of a vehicle on August 20 this year with excess alcohol in his breath.

He was fined £300, ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy and given ten points.

The court heard that at 5.25pm at Killycomain Road in Portadown police saw the defendant get into a car.

The engine was running and when police spoke to him they could smell intoxicating liquor. An evidential breath test gave a reading of 119 (the limit is 35).

Mr Brendan Hagan, representing the defendant, said his client had been driving for 32 years and there were no convictions or points on his licence.

He explained it was McCord’s day off and he had gone to a local bar and restaurant at lunch time.

Mr Hagan added that he had not intended to drink but fell in with friends and had a number of beers followed by spirits.

He said McCord went out to the car to get cigarettes. He was well aware he was over the limit and never intended to drive the vehicle.

Mr Hagan added his client would take some issue with the claim that the engine had been running.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said it was an exceptionally high reading.