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Teen thought he was ‘OK to drive home’ from friend’s house after having ‘small amount of alcohol’

He was stopped at a police checkpoint and tested

Police checkpoint. Image for illustration purposes only

A teenager was caught over the limit on his way home from a friend’s house after being stopped at a police vehicle checkpoint in Newry.

Court heard the 18-year-old admitted to having consumed alcohol but believed that he was ‘OK’ to travel the short distance home.

Thomas Morgan, of Ryan Road in Mayobridge, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Prosecution outlined that on October 12, police were conducting a preliminary breath test checkpoint on the Rathfriland Road in Newry.

The defendant was stopped driving a Volkswagen Bora and failed a test at the road side.

Morgan was arrested and taken to Banbridge Custody Suite, and whilst there a second breath test was carried out giving a reading of 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Due to the reading, the defendant opted to give a blood sample for testing and was bailed to return on December 7.

The results of this came back with a reading of 102mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood – the legal limit being 80mg.

Defence counsel stated: “Mr Morgan instructs that on the day of the incident he had been at a friend’s house where he had consumed, as he describes, a small amount of alcohol.

“He thought that he was OK to drive home, which was only a small distance.”

He added: “His licence in currently with the DVA, with points being placed on it for excess speed.”

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

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

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