An Armagh woman who had a near miss with another vehicle after driving whilst over twice the legal limit has been handed a 12 month disqualification.
The 57-year-old’s solicitor told court: “This was a stupid decision. She was drinking at home and decided to go for a takeaway less than half a mile away. She could have walked the distance but under the influence of alcohol she decided against that.”
Stephie McManus, of Corrigan Court, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol and using a vehicle without insurance at Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday.
Outlining the facts, prosecution stated that on January 17, of this year, at around 10.15pm, police on patrol in Armagh city centre were flagged down by a member of the public.
They informed officers that their vehicle had almost been hit by another car on Friary Road.
The member of the public had followed the vehicle in question in order to confront the driver. When they spoke to her she appeared intoxicated and the front offside tyre of the car was burst.
Police later observed the vehicle in a small car park on the Killylea Road. The sole occupant was the defendant.
Officers watched as McManus attempted to move forward to park the car but it would only move a few inches due to the damage to the wheel.
A breath test was subsequently conducted giving a reading of 96mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – over twice the legal limit.
Defence solicitor Kevin McCamley stated: “This is a lady who has been driving for 27 years. She has no relevant previous convictions in relation to driving matters.
“This was a stupid decision. She was drinking at home and decided to go for a takeaway less than half a mile away. She could have walked the distance but under the influence of alcohol she decided against that.”
He continued: “She knows that she made a very poor decision. She knows that the court will not look favourably upon that decision but I asked your worship to take into account this lady’s previous record and also the fact that she has entered an early guilty plea and accepted responsibility at the very earliest opportunity.”
District Judge Bernie Kelly disqualified McManus from driving for a period of 12 months and ordered that she pay a fine of £600, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 12 weeks.