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Driving ban for man who ‘stopped for a drink’ on his way home from work

Defence said losing his licence was 'going to have a significant impact' on the self-employed handyman

PSNI police drink driving

A Newry man who was caught over the limit after stopping for a drink on his way home from work has been handed a 12 month ban.

Court heard that police attention was drawn to the 46-year-old’s Transit van after concerns that he had been speeding.

Stephen Anthony Kelly, of Ardaveen Avenue, had a plea of guilty entered on his behalf to driving with excess alcohol at Newry Magistrates’ on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on August 25, police attention was drawn to a Ford Transit on the Forkhill Road, Newry, with concerns regarding excess speed

The vehicle was later observed in a lay-by on the Dublin Road. Upon speaking to the driver, who was identified as the defendant, officers noted a smell of intoxicating liquor.

A preliminary breath test was carried out resulting in a fail, while a subsequent evidential sample obtained at Lurgan Custody Suite gave a reading of 60mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Defence barrister Stephen Campbell stated: “He has no previous road traffic convictions and is a self-employed handyman.

“He had been coming home from work when he stopped for a drink. He thought he was OK to drive and the loss of his licence is going to have a significant impact.”

District Judge Eamonn King disqualified Kelly from driving for a period of 12 months and ordered that he pay a fine of £200, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

The defendant was certified for the drink driving course which upon completion would see his ban reduced to one of nine months.

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