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Armagh woman caught drink driving less than fortnight after being disqualified

A Lithuanian national has been banned from driving for three years after being caught drink driving and without a licence less than two weeks after being disqualified.

Raminta Stankeviciene, 62, of Killuney Drive, Armagh, appeared at City Magistrates’ on Tuesday charged with driving whilst over the alcohol limit and whilst disqualified.

Court heard that on January 22, at around 7.15pm police spotted a Seat Toledo in the Ashley Gardens area Armagh, which was unable to stay on a straight course on the road.

The vehicle was pulled over and police noted a strong smell of alcohol; the defendant failed a preliminary roadside breath test.

Police checks showed Stankeviciene had been disqualified from driving on January 9, for no insurance or licence.

Another breathalyser test was carried out in custody which gave a reading of 70mg of alcohol per 100 ml of breath.

When interviewed the defendant admitted to drink driving whilst disqualified.

Defence counsel told the court that Stankeviciene was widowed and had a very “solitary and isolated life”.

They explained that she had moved to this country with her husband, who passed away in 2004, and that she had two sons but they had moved to England.

Court also heard that despite the defendant’s problems with alcohol she had been able to hold down a full-time job as a mushroom picker.

The defence added that Stankeviciene offered “no reason for her urgency to drive on the night in question”.

They argued that although she had not actively sought help for her alcohol problems, there was support out there for her with probation.

Deputy District Judge Michael Ranaghan stated that she “should not be driving a car” and that she was a “danger to the public”.

Stankeviciene was ordered to complete a one-year probation order during which she must attend any courses dealing with her alcohol issues.

She was also handed a driving ban of three years and ordered to pay a fine of £500, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

Judge Ranaghan said the leniency of the conviction was due to “her age and issues in a report handed to him by the defence”.

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