A Newry man who started drinking in his car after being informed he had no employment due to the pandemic has been handed 10 penalty points.
The 39-year-old’s barrister told court: “He has a wife and children to support. He took this news quite badly so went to his car and he started to consume alcohol. He had no intention of driving and there is no suggestion of that.”
Rory Brannigan, of Ashbrook Mews, had a plea of guilty entered to being in charge with excess alcohol in blood at Armagh Magistrates’, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday.
Prosecution outlined that on March 29, at 8pm, police received a report of male, who was believed to be under the influence, in a vehicle in the Barrack Street area of Armagh.
Officers located the vehicle and found this defendant sitting in the driver seat with the engine running.
The engine was subsequently turned off and due to smelling alcohol on Brannigan’s breath a preliminary breath test was conducted resulting in a fail.
The defendant was then arrested for the charge before the court, and whilst in custody an evidential sample of breath could not be obtained.
A sample of Brannigan’s blood was taken for forensic analysis. This revealed a reading of 107mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood – the limit being 80mg.
Defence barrister Kevin O’Hare stated: “Mr Brannigan is a labourer by trade. He had just been informed that due to Covid he had no employment for the foreseeable future.
“He has a wife and children to support. He took this news quite badly so went to his car and he started to consume alcohol. He had no intention of driving and there is no suggestion of that.”
District Judge Greg McCourt commented: “He is fortunate that he did not try to drive off.”
The defendant was handed 10 penalty points and was ordered to pay a fine of £250, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within eight weeks.