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Motorist invited ‘in for a few drinks’ after dropping colleagues’ wages off was over twice legal limit

Court heard the HGV driver has 'already paid a price as he has lost his job as a result'

A Newry man who was found to be over twice the legal limit after being stopped by police has been disqualified from driving for 12 months.

The 26-year-old’s barrister informed court that the defendant had since lost his employment as an HGV lorry driver.

Christopher McKeown, of Carriff Vale, had a plea of guilty entered on his to driving with excess alcohol at the city’s Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on December 7, police conducting a routine vehicle checkpoint on the Dublin Road in Newry, stopped this defendant driving a BMW.

Officers observed that his speech was slurred and there was a smell of intoxicating liquor emanating from the vehicle. A preliminary breath test at the roadside resulted in a fail.

McKeown was arrested and a subsequent evidential sample of breath obtained in custody gave a reading of 72mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – over twice the legal limit.

Defence barrister Bobbie Rea stated: “He is fully co-operative with police. He has a clear licence although there is little good that will do him today.”

He explained: “He is an HGV driver. He had gone to Co Louth to pick up wages for him and his co-workers. He was dropping them to others and one suggested that he come in for a few drinks.

“He has already paid a price as he has lost his job as a result.”

McKeown was disqualified from driving for 12 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £200, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

District Judge Eamonn King did certify the defendant for the drink driving course which would see his ban reduced to one of nine months upon completion.

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