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Man who got behind wheel after row with wife was almost three times drink drive limit

He was detected on his way back home after 'collecting his thoughts'

Craigavon Magistrates Court

A man who drove whilst nearly three times the limit after an argument with his wife has been handed a 12-month disqualification.

Court heard the 49-year-old was detected on his way back home after “collecting his thoughts”.

Peter Christopher Graham, of The Hollows, Lurgan pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

It was heard that on June 15, at 9.30pm, police received a report from a woman who stated her husband, who had been drinking, had driven off from her home in a red Citroen van.

Officers stopped the defendant at a vehicle checkpoint on the Belfast Road, Magheralin.

Graham had no licence or identity documents with him.

Police noted that the defendant seemed confused, reluctant to talk and slow to respond.

A preliminary breath test was carried out resulting in a fail with a reading of 104mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Graham was subsequently arrested and taken to Lurgan Custody Suite where an evidential reading of 102mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath was obtained.

Defence solicitor Conor Downey stated: “Mr Graham had an argument with his wife. He stupidly drove off but to his credit, he did take some time to try and sleep it off.

“He drove only a short distance and after collecting his thoughts he decided to drive home. That is when he was detected.”

District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “This was a very high reading, nearly three times the legal limit.

“Mr Downey, you know as I do that given that reading his starting point is not the minimum.”

Graham was disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay a fine of £300, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within eight weeks.

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