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Drunk and emotional classroom assistant drove car in ‘moment of madness’

Defendant admitted moving car short distance while under the influence

Court drink driving Craigavon

A woman found drunk and emotional after moving her vehicle a short distance has been banned from driving for 12 months.

Court heard the events unfolded after the 42-year-old been in Portadown for July 12 celebrations.

Jennifer Margaret Gray, of Lisburn, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

It was revealed police responded to a complaint at a house in Portadown on July 13, shortly after midnight.

They arrived at the scene to find the defendant emotional and intoxicated.

She immediately told the officers she had moved her car a short distance whilst under the influence.

Police said Gray looked upset as she was taken to Lurgan Custody Suite, where the defendant gave a reading of 107mg of alcohol in 100 ml of breath.

Court heard the offence had occurred outside the home of Gray’s estranged partner and that the vehicle had been moved across the road from that address.

It was also revealed the defendant was a classroom assistant – a job which she had held for 21 years – and this would be in jeopardy as the school where she worked was some distance from her home.

Defence counsel said this had been a “moment of madness” brought on by the alcohol taken “over the period of the day”.

He added that Gray had never been before the court and appeared before the judge with not even a penalty point on her licence.

Deputy District Judge Chris Holmes said the defendant would be given credit for her early plea and the short distance she had travelled.

Gray was disqualified for 12 months but was certified for the drink driving course which would see this reduced to nine months.

In addition, she was ordered to pay a fine of £200, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 15 weeks.

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