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Learner driver caught carrying passenger on motorcycle was over the drink drive limit

A Lurgan man has been banned from driving for 12 months after being caught over the limit on a motorcycle carrying an unauthorised passenger, due to his learner status.

A judge stated that the 26-year-old had been “showing off”.

Stefan Dunwoody, of Levin Road, pleaded guilty to being an L driver with an unauthorised passenger on a motorbike, using a vehicle without insurance and driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ on Friday.

It was heard that on July 23, at around 6.15pm, police attended a roundabout near the Mandeville Road, Craigavon, after reports of a male and a female falling off a motorcycle.

When they arrived the male, identified as the defendant, was in the back of an ambulance and the female was in an ambulance car.

Checks run by officers showed that the motorcycle did not have an active insurance policy.

Dunwoody was breathalysed at Craigavon Area Hospital which gave a reading of 81mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

When interviewed the defendant admitted to having his girlfriend as a passenger which he knew was an offence but he stated that he had been displaying ‘L’ plates.

Defence solicitor Pat Vernon said: “Basically, he took a risk in taking his girlfriend a short distance to her home”.

District Judge Bernie Kelly quickly replied: “Basically he was showing off”.

Mr Vernon stated that the insurance had been cancelled after a missed direct debit.

He added: “This happened in the middle of July, in the hot weather Mr Dunwoody had consumed alcohol four or five hours earlier and believed he was okay to drive”.

The defendant was disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay a fine of £600, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 12 weeks.

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