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Learner driver who narrowly missed a traffic island told police he only had one beer

His defence said: 'He clearly had more than one beer. I know that is an excuse given to many police officers'

A provisional licence holder seen by police narrowly missing a traffic island told an that he only had one beer.

The 34-year-old’s solicitor admitted that his client had “clearly” consumed more than stated after he was found to be almost twice the legal limit.

Emanuel Bonev, of Avondale Green in Lurgan, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, not displaying L plates and being an unaccompanied L driver at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that on February 1, at 8.40pm, police observed a Vauxhall Astra being driven on Edward Street in Lurgan narrowly miss a traffic island.

Officers spoke to the driver and he identified himself as the defendant, after he handed over a Bulgarian identity card.

A strong smell of alcohol was detected on Bonev and he told police: “I had one beer.”

A preliminary breath test was carried out on the defendant which resulted in a fail. Further inquiries revealed that he was the holder of a provisional licence only.

Whilst at Dunngannon Custody Suite, an evidential sample of breath was obtained which gave a reading of 68mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Defence solicitor Philip Reid statedofficer: “He clearly had more than one beer. I know that is an excuse given to many police officers.”

“He is Bulgarian, he has lived in Northern Ireland for four years and he did have an insurance policy. The company were contacted and said they would have stood over this cover.”

Bonev was disqualified from driving for 12 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £350, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 20 weeks.

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