A Lurgan man was caught over twice the legal limit after deciding to drive home after drinking six pints at a local bar.
The 35-year-old’s solicitor said the defendant had no explanation for breaking his “usual habit” of leaving the car at the premises to pick up the next day.
Martin Daniel Lynch, of Windsor Avenue, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
Prosecution outlined that on December 29, at 2am, police received a report from a concerned member of the public regarding a suspected drink driver.
They had spotted a male trying to change the tyre of a vehicle on the North Circular Road, Lurgan, not far from where they had also observed a traffic bollard which had been damaged.
At 2.15am, officers located the vehicle in question with a male standing nearby.
He identified himself as the defendant and told police that he was the owner of the vehicle and was fully insured.
A short distance away officers spotted the traffic bollard which had been damaged.
After speaking to Lynch, they suspected him of being intoxicated. They observed that he was unsteady on his feet and his speech was slurred.
A preliminary breath test at the roadside resulted in a fail. A later evidential sample gave a reading of 90mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.
Defence solicitor Harry McCourt stated: “This is a man with no record. He has never been before the court before.
“He works shift work which often means he cannot rely on public transport. He lives with his father who has recently suffered a stroke and his fiancee also relies on him for transport as she also has health difficulties.”
He continued: “He had been drinking in the Woodville bar and instructs he had six pints. His usual habit would be to leave the car there and pick it up the next day.
“He cannot explain why on this occasion he made the stupid decision to drive home.”
District Judge Peter Magill commented: “This is your first court appearance and it is sad to see you before me.”
Lynch was disqualified from driving for 12 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £250, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 16 weeks.
District Judge Magill certified the defendant for the drink driving course which would see his ban reduced to one of nine months upon completion.